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Two Men Who Didn’t Watch Super Bowl 47

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While Twitter is abuzz with too-cool hipsters bragging about not watching Super Bowl XLVII even though they, much like hundreds of millions of people around the world, were glued to their TVs, I know of two people that definitely didn’t watch a single play of the game: Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar.

You see, Baker and Lollar were the two men that were slain on the night of January 31, 2000. This night, following a Super Bowl XXXIV party in Atlanta, a fight broke out between Baker, Lollar, and 3 men, one of which was Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.

What happened that night is still somewhat of a mystery in the eyes of the law. However here are some facts:

  • Ray Lewis struck a plea deal where he would testify against his friends for a more lenient sentence.
  • Ray Lewis plead guilty to obstruction to justice as a result of misleading law enforcement and was sentenced to one year of probation and levied a fine in the amount of $250,000 by the NFL.
  • Lewis testified that his companions, Joseph Sweeting & Reginald Oakley, had gone into a sporting goods store on January 29,2000 and bought knives.
  • On January 31, 2000, Baker and Lollar were brutally beaten and stabbed to death after an altercation with Lewis and his friends.
  • After the altercation which left the two men dead, Lewis fled the crime scene in his limo.
  • In the limo Lewis said, according to one of the passengers, that they were instructed to “keep their mouths shut” and that Lewis wasn’t “trying to end his career like this”.
  • The white suit that Lewis was wearing that night has never been found. One limo occupant said that at one point the limo took a detour to get rid of Lewis’ bloody shirt.
  • One of the knives matching the model number of one of those purchased two days earlier was found on the sidewalk near the bodies. The other has yet to be located.
  • The blood of Jacinth Baker was found in the aforementioned limo of Ray Lewis.
  • The limo driver that night changed from a confident man who originally stated that he saw Lewis “actively involved in the bloody brawl” to a sheepish shadow who backed away from all of those statements when on the stand.
  • No one was ever convicted of the murders of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar.

To be clear, I wasn’t there that night. I don’t know what role if any Ray Lewis played in the murders.  I do know that Ray Lewis knows quite a bit more than he’s letting on. I also know that while he may or may not have wielded the blade, he also hasn’t admitted anything in the realm of remorse for what happened on that January evening.  Earlier this week he was asked about that night and responded: “God has never made a mistake. That’s just who He is… To the family, if you knew, if you really knew the way God works, he don’t use people who commits anything like that for His glory. No way. It’s the total opposite.” To clarify, not only is he claiming that he wasn’t involved in the murders, he’s going so far as to say that the two men deserved what they got that evening.

He’s also the man who went out of his way, in his own words to “give everyone a fair chance to say their goodbyes” to him. And that he would have “robbed a lot of people of those last goodbyes” had he just announced his retirement at the end of the season rather than relishing in his “last ride” tour. Again, to clarify, he has less interest in riding off into the sunset as he does to allow people to spend a month telling him how great his is.

He’s the man, who by many accounts, with the help of then-Ravens’ owner Art Modell “bought himself and his ‘boys’ out of trouble”.  Finally, he’s the man who was supposed to meet with the families of the slain victims who were looking for closure, but backed out.

Contrary to the tone of this article, I don’t dislike Ray Lewis the football player. I will miss seeing him out their next season. He’s one of the rare few who can both impact a game and make their teammates better. However, I will not miss Ray Lewis the person. He just doesn’t get it, and if he doesn’t by now, he never will. After tonight’s game Lewis said that he can “think about ‘self’ a little bit now”; Now?? His lack of self-awareness is both infuriating but also a bit amusing.

The point is, Ray Lewis may be a two-time Super Bowl Champion, a multi-millionaire, a self-described man of God, one of the best linebackers in NFL history, and a surefire NFL Hall-of-Famer, but one thing is for evident, he certainly is not the squeaky clean “Reverend Ray” that he wants the world to see. In fact, he’s nothing more than a caricature, an escaped hypemachine from Vince McMahon’s WWE, and a hypocritical egomaniac.

The on-field career of Ray Lewis has now come to an end, but he’s still a few years away from his final swan song, enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The same Canton, Ohio that’s a mere few miles south of Akron; the hometown and final resting place of the two men whose lives came to an end that January evening back in 2000, Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar.

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