After the news was first reported well before the end of his playing career, ESPN finally sent out a fancy press release telling us what we all already knew - Ray Lewis has joined the folks in Bristol as their newes NFL analyst. Lewis is the 217th NFL analyst at the network, but from the ESPN announcement, it's clear he's not going to fade into the Bristol ether like Antonio Pierce, Damien Woody, Brian Dawkins, (I can keep going) Jerry Rice, Tim Hasselbeck, Eric Allen, Eric Mangini, Tedy Bruschi, and the dozens of others at the network. Ray Lewis will get the primetime assignments straight away. In particular, a seat at the Monday Night Countdown table, a role on Sunday NFL Countdown... and his own television specials...
"Lewis will travel to the site of each week’s Monday Night Football game where he will offer analysis alongside Stuart Scott, Hall of Famer Steve Young and his former Ravens teammate Trent Dilfer during the pre-game Countdown and post-game SportsCenter. Lewis will contribute to Sunday NFL Countdown throughout the season and make a weekly appearance on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning. The 17-year NFL veteran will also have the opportunity to host specials similar to Jon Gruden’s QB Camp series. He is expected to start on August 1."
I'm a bit surprised Lewis wouldn't start straight away with ESPN, but August still gives him a month or so to get his feet wet before the season starts. The on-site Monday Countdown set makes the most sense for Lewis since that's really the only place left at ESPN that doesn't pull the "how many NFL analysts can we fit into this little clown car" type thing.
Of course the most interesting element is the television specials ESPN says is similar to Gruden's QB Camp. Does that mean Lewis will break down defensive tape? Will he show us all how to defend Spider 2 Y Banana? Behind the caricature Lewis became in this year's playoffs is a knowledgable football expert who has great potential on television. Lewis will succeed as long as ESPN doesn't trot him out to do ridiculous things like give motivational speeches. Besides, that's Herm Edwards' territory.
@awfulannouncing just another reason not to watch ESPN
Whether Lewis caught a break in the double murders in Atlanta is arguable. His celebrity certainly didn't hurt him. That said, what isn't arguable is that for the last 10 years, he has handled his professional life without incident. While I find his "religious" outbursts comical, considering the fact that he has fathered several children with several women, his professional life has been relatively error free. I will give him a listen and see what he brings to the table. He possesses a wealth of knowledge and he is articulate. My guess is that he will succeed at ESPN.
@awfulannouncing I know there are large cultural diffs between U. S. & Australia but you guys realise R Lewis is a clown right?
%s Will they have him do that totally scripted obnoxious dance? Heaven knows we haven't seen that enough. %s
@awfulannouncing Any dogs in the house?
@awfulannouncing maybe ray Lewis can re-enact how to kill someone and he will start with Stephen A & skip bayless
@awfulannouncing or a cross with "Dr. Lou" on College Gameday. Dear God don't let there be an education on entrance dances
@awfulannouncing Has Ray Lewis taught his dance to Herm yet?
@awfulannouncing Any specials about knife skills?
@awfulannouncing at least all the terrible commentators are on ESPN
@awfulannouncing fucking animal. Hope no one gets him mad.
@awfulannouncing With the addition of Ray Lewis, ESPN could beat the Jets.
@awfulannouncing More reason NOT to watch Sportscenter
@awfulannouncing once u stick a knife in 1 guys heart u should get a second chance
@awfulannouncing what is things I won't be watching
@awfulannouncing oh rays pretty quiet tonight must be hiding from murder charges again
@awfulannouncing just another reason to switch to nbc sports . Espn sucks
@awfulannouncing I see a similar disaster much like Emmit Smith.. Unwatchable.! This was a big reach for ESPN and it will cost em viewers!
you guys at espn just lost me as a regular viewer. i will find another station for pregame thoughts about the games. i cant understand why you have someone who was involved in a double murder. you could have picked any number of past players who are great football players and role models to kids.
@awfulannouncing does ESPN realize he is hated by EVERYONE except ESPN and Baltimore? Seriously.
@awfulannouncing Further proof that god really does hate me.
@awfulannouncing he should be on court tv
@awfulannouncing he's actually doing a pretty good job, very well spoken.
@awfulannouncing Wow, I think I can find a rerun of Little House on the Prairie to watch instead. Berman and Lewis? That's can't watch TV!
@awfulannouncing and covering up murders as required
@awfulannouncing I feel like his ESPN existence will be like a never ending version of Deion's HOF speech.
@awfulannouncing are they kicking anyone off Monday Night? Crowded set already
@awfulannouncing did he enter by dancing in a cloud of smoke?
@awfulannouncing thought he retired to spend time with his kids, that lasted long
@awfulannouncing no thanks.
@awfulannouncing I didn't know they hired preachers
@awfulannouncing Expect mass conversion in Bristol
@awfulannouncing it's not official until he mentions Tebow