Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now

Ray Lewis Crime Watch

Posted on May 24, 2011 by Adam McCallister

Was Ray Lewis talking about players or fans when he said that the crime rate would rise if there is no NFL this fall?

“Watch how much evil — which we call it crime — watch how much crime picks up if you take away our game.” – Ray Lewis

When you first heard these words what image came to mind?  Ray Lewis, 16 year NFL Veteran, 12 time Pro-Bowler, 2 time Defensive player of the year, Super Bowl XXXV MVP,  future Hall of Famer and unarguably spiritual and emotional leader of the Baltimore Ravens.  Or Ray Lewis, accused murderer in an orange jumpsuit standing in an Atlanta, Georgia courtroom.  If your view of Mr. Lewis is that of the latter, that’s okay.  It’s your opinion and the above statement is nothing more than that.  An opinion.

What if it were more than that?

After all this is an opinion of a guy who has been in the league for 16 years, (providing the NFL plays another season in our existence).  A guy who has experienced training camps, OTA’s, playoffs, a Super Bowl, contract negotiations, player mentoring, community projects & philanthropy, new business development and a double homicide trial.  This is nothing more than an opinion from a guy who has played in 210 regular season games, 15 playoffs games and doesn’t get his NFL news from ESPN SportsCenter highlights or NFL RedZone.  How could he have an opinion that is so far fetched from what fans or NFL “experts” would have?  Let’s find out how out of touch Ray is, are you ready?

NFL Players arrested since beginning of Lockout- 17
NFL Players arrested during same time in 2010- 13

You may be saying, “that’s only 4 more.”  True but even my public educated mind knows that 17 is more than 13 which means a crime increase.  Point Ray.  Don’t forget since the lockout began the personal conduct policy of the leage is null and void.  The players who teetered on the edge of morality no longer have Jimminy Cricket, played by the voice of Roger Goodell, to keep them on the right side of the tracks.  Professional football players know one thing- football.  It is now the end of May which during a regular season means OTA’s and meetings as teams prepare for training camp.  Not this year.  Nope it’s just young guys, lots of money and nothing on their schedule; surely nothing questionable would ever happen with that combination?????

If you have kids what do you do when the school year is about to finish?  Summer Camps, Day programs, Vacation Bible School or if you were my parents a list of daily chores that would rival Alcatraz.  Why?  So your kids don’t have extra free time to shave the family cat or discover what blows up in the microwave quickest (now you know why my chores involved rock breaking).  Close your eyes for a moment and imagine your kids’ friend that you’re not really sure of, if you’re not sure ask your kid they’ll tell you.  Now imagine that friend with millions of dollars and nothing to do.  Are your doors locked yet? Welcome to the NFL lockout.

Vegas Baby, Vegas!!

The NFL is business big business.  How big is the NFL to gamblers?  In 2009 Delaware Governor Jack Markell had a plan to allow NFL betting in his state with expectations of $55,000,000. The league nixed that idea.  According to the Nevada Gaming Control Board $81.2 million was wagered at SportsBooks across the state for the 2011 SuperBowl between Green Bay and Pittsburgh.  Here’s where it gets interesting.  In the same report only 1.5% of those bets were made legally!!!  That means $1,218,000 legally wagered.  $79,982,000 ILLEGALLY wagered.  How much cash did you put in your buddy’s office pool?  How about those weekly pick sheets?  Fantasy Football leagues?  The actual numbers have to be in the BILLION$$$.

You are smart enough to know that where there is gambling only the most upstanding and innocent individuals exist. They surely won’t mind missing the gambling revenue that the league generates.  They’ll just be patient and wait it out.  It’s a down economy right?  You don’t think they would branch out into other less desirable endeavours?  They probably don’t have people that owe them money from bets that were never paid that would do anything to get off their LIST.


You have a friend that has a friend that knows a guy who went to school with a guy that knows another guy.  What are the chances that someone in that circle might just have a job at a stadium or connected to the team?  The cashier this morning that got your coffee doesn’t look like they lost money on a game.  Certainly doesn’t look like the type that would take some cash out of the register.  Now that you think about it something doesn’t feel right does it?

I just needed some gas money

Crime is crime.  Petty theft to robbing a bank.  You can’t be sort of pregnant.  While we want to think that society is general is good and it is.  How long would the nightly news be if there was only good news to report?  Watch the traffic report, that long.

Remember the Spring of 2008?  When gas prices skyrocketed over $4.00 for the first time throughout the country, what happened?  Gas stations were being robbed by people filling up and driving off.  Not by ex-cons and murderers but by soccer moms, teenagers and dare we say it, the Average Joe!!

It’s really easy to take the words that Ray said at face value.  He’s makes millions, he doesn’t live my life, he’s out of touch with society.  The answer to the first two is Yes.  Yes he does make millions and yes he doesn’t live your life.  If he did you wouldn’t be upset with what he said.  He would be Bob in accounting or Jim back in service.  The answer to #3, society is NO.  Society in this case is the NFL.  Something he knows better than you or I.  The NFL is his life. His statements were just opinion.  When most athletes opinions are re-hashings of past ideas or prepared statements it’s refreshing to hear an opinion that makes us stop and think.

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