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Faith and the Ravens


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#1 Corvus_corax

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:18 AM

My first thread on here so go easy. :P

Something that has become very apparent to me over the last few weeks is just how much of a role faith in God plays in the Ravens locker room. I have watched numerous interviews with John Harbaugh, and several of the players, over the last few weeks and it is something that has been referred to often.

Ray Lewis wears his heart on his sleeve and makes no secret of the fact that faith is part of what is driving him on. John Harbaugh made a comment recently in a press conference about this team having a faith in God(in whichever form is applicable to each individual) so it's clearly something that he openly encourages within the locker room. I guess the situations with Chuck Pagano, OJ and Ty Strong have all helped to feed into this too. When you watch people going through the ordeals that those 3 people are going through it does make you think a lot about life etc and puts the importance of a game of football into some sort of perspective.

I am a member of an UK based NFL forum and the Ravens, Ray Lewis in particular, have been attracting a fair bit of criticism for being so open about faith being a part of this team. Some of the comments about Ray Lewis have been disgusting actually.

So I was wondering how you guys felt about it. Does it in any way bother you that guys like John Harbaugh and Ray Lewis make references to this and make faith so much a part of what the Ravens are doing?



PS. I'm not looking for this thread to be a discussion on religion in general(those rarely end well), I just wanted to get an idea of how people feel about this within the context of football and the Ravens in particular.
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#2 Gordo52

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:30 AM

I love it. They're proud and thankful for the blessings in their lives and success on the field. Nothing wrong with giving praise imo
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#3 Dudeman

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:38 AM

I'm not the overly religious type, but I am spiritual and I think that matters more. It's cool that the Ravens have a spiritual side because it makes their brotherhood stronger.

But I also feel that they don't use religion or piety as a crutch on the field. They don't just assume they are the best team, and the breaks are going their way because of a higher power; but rather they feel empowered by these bonds that tie them together.

At least that's the way I see it...

Edited by Dudeman, 21 January 2013 - 02:39 AM.

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#4 Corvus_corax

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:38 AM

I love it. They're proud and thankful for the blessings in their lives and success on the field. Nothing wrong with giving praise imo


I agree man.
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#5 Moderator 2

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 04:30 AM

There is nothing wrong with Faith, be it in God, Supreme Being, Nature or each other. They don't shove it down your throat and are genuine about it. It seems natural with Tebow, Ray, Tucker and his sign of the cross and even the Gramatica brothers and Stover did the same thing, Some player not so comfortable or genuine. Faith is extremely personal


This discussion is fine as long as it stays into how it pertains to the team and not individuals trying to trash other faith or testifying.
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#6 theFRANCHISE

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 04:42 AM

I'll take motivation any way our team can get it.
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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:02 AM

Faith is an intangible to me and whatever makes the team play better works. I try not to judge anyone or force my views onto them . we are going to the superbowl and faith has allot to do with that .
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#8 Footman DCXLV

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:37 AM

I don't see how anybody can have a real problem with it. The only thing they could say is that it gets annoying to hear the same things over and over, but I'd counter that by saying you can just put it on the list of "One week at a time," and "60 minutes," and 53 men," etc. Speaking as an atheist, I'm envious of anybody who can find motivation so strong in any such thing. Ride it for as long as you can. If the Ravens are riding that faith all the way to the Super Bowl, I'd say don't change a thing.
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#9 GrimCoconut

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:23 PM

I like the faith they have. I think it makes them better. It helps them believe when they can't go on or don't want to go on.
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#10 BloodRaven

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:31 PM

They say God helps those who help themselves and while I'm not religious I appreciate how this works, we don't pray for miracles we go out there and make them happen.
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#11 Militant X 1

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:33 PM

I love it. They're proud and thankful for the blessings in their lives and success on the field. Nothing wrong with giving praise imo

I agree man.

There is nothing wrong with Faith, be it in God, Supreme Being, Nature or each other. They don't shove it down your throat and are genuine about it. It seems natural with Tebow, Ray, Tucker and his sign of the cross and even the Gramatica brothers and Stover did the same thing, Some player not so comfortable or genuine. Faith is extremely personal


This discussion is fine as long as it stays into how it pertains to the team and not individuals trying to trash other faith or testifying.


i agree with what you all said. the Ravens are rallying behind their faith and one another and it is a beautiful thing to see!

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#12 Tank 92

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:33 PM

I like that the Ravens are not afraid to express their faith. I think it goes hand in hand with everything else that this organization believes should be qualities of its members. Maintaining strong convictions while remaining humble is very admirable and in my opinion strengthens the Team in a way that allows them to overcome deficiencies.
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#13 PuRock

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:47 PM

I'm not the overly religious type, but I am spiritual and I think that matters more. It's cool that the Ravens have a spiritual side because it makes their brotherhood stronger.


I agree about the spiritual part. Its working for the team. Ray's spiritiual side and faith is rubbing off on the other players and fortifying the team.

But I will say this. I am not going to just come out and say that it's awesome because then I would be a hypocrite. I've seen threads on this board lambasting Tebow for being along the same line (and I've probably taken part). God has little to do with the actual football game itself. But if the players want to accept god's will for them (win or lose) then I have no issue.

With that I apologize to Tebow.

Edited by PuRock, 21 January 2013 - 12:52 PM.

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#14 AsianRice

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:50 PM

I think Ray or John did not cross the line of making our god; instead of, they went on referring to Faith or each individual god who has integrated these group of men together and accomplish one ultimate goal which is to win a championship. Therefore, everyone in the locker group have a special kind of instinct of believing each other to accomplish the task. I think it is a very powerful spiritual motivation that helps Ravens players overcome any obstacle. It's hard to insert the religious motivation into a group of religious diversity; however, Ray and John use it very well and carefully...
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#15 Ragin'Raven

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:50 PM

I think the belief and faith in God in the Ravens organization is wonderful, especially since I'm a Christian, and I love seeing people wear their own faith so openly.

I will also say this, for people who might not be Christians and see it the way I do. It's not always the faith in itself; it's the approach to life that having faith reveals. Humility, appreciation, respect. Those types of attitudes and behaviors are all over the Ravens organization; from the top to the bottom. Now I think, as a Christian, that their faith plays a huge role in those philosophies. They are the way they are because of faith, most of them probably. They are a humble and appreciative organization, full of humble and appreciative players and coaches. The way they present and carry themselves reflects their beliefs. I have no doubt that after the Super Bowl, win or lose, the Ravens will still be a class act organization. They will still have humble hearts, whether they have a faith in God or not. The team reflects its leadership, and they have humble, gracious, and well spoken leaders! :)
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#16 CorvusCorax

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:11 PM

The Ravens believe in not just themselves but stand united as a TEAM! That plays an important part of what they have accomplished throughout the entire season. They have determination, resolve, patience and it shows. There are those that have faith in God (myself included) and I believe that it helps them become a better person. Instead of being a self-centered person, they are thinking beyond themselves and believing in something more. That is a great thing no matter how you look at it!

Faith in each other, Faith in the team, Faith in God (no matter your beliefs), Faith in the organization, and Faith in overcoming the impossible!

Edited by CorvusCorax, 21 January 2013 - 01:15 PM.

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#17 RavenaS

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:41 PM

I've noticed it too. It pleases me because I am a person of faith and know what that means to Ray Lewis and his teammates. You have to look at it from OJ Brigance's position. What that man is enduring with ALS is some of the worst health obstacles you can endure. Faith in the impossible is what is giving this team hope and the resiliency to keep competing. It was most apparent in the Denver game when they'd played in impossibly cold temps and had a slingfest for offense/defense. By all rights they should have lost that game. Only reason they won is because they refused to give up. They had that much faith in themselves and each other and fate to keep trying. That's what faith has meant to them.

I compared that to how Houston played against Boston the next day. Texans are down by two scores and have two minutes to go. They didn't even try to score. You could tell they'd just resigned themselves to the loss. They didn't believe in the impossible.

I am a bit surprised to hear Ray and Harbough talk about it so openly just because I know that sort of thing is ripe for mockery these days. It's not right to mock anyone for their beliefs. I didn't approve of it when Tebow was mocked either. But when one is moved by faith one doesn't care what others say.
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#18 JAKEtheJAB

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 03:50 PM

I absolutely do not think it is wrong that Ray Lewis speaks about his beliefs publically. It is simply his world view (answers to the questions: where we came from, why are we here, where are we going). It is well within the bounds of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Separation of church and state is not applicable here because football is nothing more than entertainment, it does not govern the livelihood of whole civilizations.

From listening to Ray Lewis talk about God, it seems that he is really reflecting on his 14 year career and he is realizing how blessed he is. It seems that it has all come in perspective to him. He is not shoving his beliefs down anyone's throats, he just saying what is on his mind and on his heart, not holding anything back. He may even think it is God's will that the Ravens win the Superbowl. It doesn't mean that God is directly interceding "Angels in the Outfield" style, or that God even cares about football, no one knows the mind of God, it is all speculation, it means that God has blessed him and his teammates with gifts to be in the position they are in. To me, Ray is just saying that he is thankful for that.

For the people who think it is ironic that Ray Lewis was charged with murder and now is "God's best friend", there is such thing as forgiveness. In my opinion, no one is in a position to judge. Everyone does wrong. There is nothing you can do or say in this world that God can't forgive if you truly repent and change. To me, after that dark period of his life, Ray Lewis has demonstrated through his actions and words that he has changed for the better.

Edited by JAKEtheJAB, 21 January 2013 - 03:51 PM.

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#19 Uncle Dready

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:23 PM

I'm atheist. When someone starts off on a god-rant, I tune-out, including athletes...someone's faith doesn't affect me at all...If it works for them, then great. I tend to believe that skill and preparation has more to do with game-outcomes rather than one's faith.
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#20 BallHawker

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:45 PM

I'm atheist. When someone starts off on a god-rant, I tune-out, including athletes...someone's faith doesn't affect me at all...If it works for them, then great. I tend to believe that skill and preparation has more to do with game-outcomes rather than one's faith.


Completely agree.

Used rationally, religion can be a great way to motivate the message hope, instead of despair and sorrow. Take last year's AFC championship game as the prime example of this, the belief that a higher being "controls" everything and that our fates have already been determined led to a humble end to the Ravens' season. Without the message that Ray's brought to the locker room, we may have acted like a Belichick or a Wes Welker's wife. Now, religion can bring hope to everyone; they can use something to believe in and to help them through the dark times in life. People often fear the unknown and questions the future - the greatest unknown. However, the most simple answer is that it was a higher being's "will" or "plan," that this higher being has a plan for everyone and everything happens for a reason. Since this belief system - let's call it faith - gives people hope, optimism of a better life, and a shinning light at the end of a dark tunnel, the Ravens have used it to their advantage in times of losses, injuries, and missed opportunities throughout the end of last season until now. Using biblical verses as a forum to communicate to fellow teammates has worked for Ray and rest of the pious Ravens, especially if they are truly faithful - that their higher being will provide them a boost on Sundays.


To answer your question, no it doesn't bother me as long as religion is a positive aspect of their lives and, in some cases, provides them hope in rough times... although I hope Ray doesn't turn into the Tebow level of religious. In other words, keep your faith off camera as much as possible, Ray.. it's getting a bit too much.

Before I offend anyone anymore, I'll step off my one inch podium.

Edited by BallHawker, 21 January 2013 - 06:47 PM.

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