January 29, 2013
A close friend of Lewis, Michael Irvin knew it was coming. After a standout playing career at Miami and then with the Dallas Cowboys, the former wide receiver has been in the media long enough to know that in the week leading up to Super Bowl XLVII, there would be the inevitable questions about Lewis' 2000 legal problems.
"I understand what happened around the Super Bowl in Atlanta [in 2000] before he played in the Super Bowl," Irvin said. "Everybody wants to go back to that, and I don't mind them going back because when you go back, you remind people of just how far Ray has come. This is the thing that I want people to point to: Yes, we had a horrific situation with Ray Lewis in Atlanta at that Super Bowl. But true ministry says you take the downs of your life, and you help others and make sure they don't go through those downs.
"Think about this: Ray Lewis had his problems, and really no one else in Baltimore has had many problems because Ray took his issue and gave everybody a lesson from it. We don't talk about it enough. Yeah, he's a leader on the football field. He teaches them how to play, how to watch film. But Ray has taken a horrific situation and made it be a lesson for everybody, not just him. That's the true definition of ministry: improving the lives of others through your own struggles."
-- Jeff Zrebiec