Ray Lewis

I grew up in Montgomery County, and root for the Washington Redskins since everyone in my family does; however, since I work primarily in the Baltimore area now and have friends who love the Baltimore Ravens, I sort of adopted them as a distant, second team.

I try to catch a game at M&T Bank Stadium at least once a season and was floored hearing the news that Ray Lewis will retire at the end of the season. Unlike most players who find themselves moving into the next phase of their lives, Lewis is doing it on his own terms and for a damned good reason – family.

Despite what happened off-the-field in the early part of his career in Georgia, Lewis has matured, grown up and has become a pillar of the community.

Life will go on, the team will get another linebacker, and the 2013-14 NFL season will kick off around Labor Day; however, Lewis' impact cannot be understated.

Ray Lewis epitomizes Baltimore sports. Although he only has one Super Bowl to his resume, his amazing 17-year career and brilliance on the field has put him in the same sphere as Cal, Brooks, Michael Phelps and Johnny Unitas around town.

As a sports fan, it will be weird just not seeing him on the field after the season.