Saturday, February 2, 2013

A tribute to Ray Lewis

Tomorrow will likely be the last game where we will see Ray Lewis play, the unforgettable number 52, who sometimes seems to fly. Even for a person like me, born and raised in Italy, with little knowledge of American football until some years ago, Ray Lewis represents what is special about the game.
Ray Lewis has been considered one of the best defense players, a linebacker who can put up an insurmountable barrier for the rival team, who can tackle like no one else. Watching him play, you forget he is often one of the oldest players on the field, as his age is not apparent from the way he runs, jumps, and catches. But perhaps because he has played for so many years, he knows spectators are there to see a good game, and he makes the game special. On the field, he dances, he screams, he prays, but in particular, he gives it his all.
What is special about Ray Lewis is not just his talent, but his passion, his motivation, his iron will. We have seen him motivate the Ravens before a game and console them after a loss. We can hear his screams when he comes onto the field, when he goes back into the locker room. We can hear the passion in his voice.
What I like the most about Ray is the message he has been delivering throughout the years. You want success? You have to work hard, very hard. You have to stay focused; do not take your eye off what you are doing. You have got to practice, get better every day. And most importantly, do not give up, never give up.
It is a message I like to tell my students (including the MBAs), my nieces (even if they do not play football), and, sometimes, myself, too. It turns out that Ray Lewis is also passionate about financial literacy, and about promoting financial literacy among underprivileged children.  Imagine combining passion with knowledge: what a combination that would be!
But tomorrow is a big game, an ending game, it is Super Bowl. Good luck tomorrow, and thank you, Ray Lewis!

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