I take Amani Toomer's opinion about as serious as I take Amani Toomer's opinion. The guy has been irrelevant for most of his career, an OK receiver. How many pro-bowls? I think the number is zero.
How his opinion on Ray Lewis is taken seriously by anyone at this point would be an amazement.
And I don't specifically mean you here HR. I'm talking about people like Toomer.
After watching A Football Life, and seeing the personal aspect to what Ray does, my outlook on him is a little different. I see the man beyond the football player now. And that man deserves to leave Atlanta back where it belongs, 12 years ago.
I believe it was a retrospective of our Super Bowl season, the kind they show on NFL Network a lot, where Brian Billick commented on the hate that Ray got from everyone after the incident. People would hurl nasty, racist things at him. At a point it's time to move on. Not move on from the unfortunate fact that two people died. But it's time to get off this whole "Ray is not a saint because of Atlanta" thing. Who said he was? Who said he was perfect? At this point, and I hate to sound like one of THOSE fans, it just sounds like a lot of bitterness and haterade.
If it truly was a look at me I'm retiring announcement then Ray would be interviewing left and right... except as a recent article pointed out Ray has declined ALL interviews including a Shannon Sharpe requested interview.
The guy is a total a-hole. He's done nothing except bad mouth his own teammates the last few years.
Who? I thought a toomer was something that needed to be removed!
I LOVE opinion boards, since I can give my opinion! ;)
I confess to not listening often (at all?) to sports talk radio, but I try to keep up with you younger types on the who's who of sports literati. So I can only go with the OP's comment that "Toomer says you can't forgive what happened in Atlanta and you have to take that into account when you look at Ray's football career" as fodder for my opinion.
And before I give my opinion, I googled (under "NEWS") "amani toomer", "amani toomer on ray lewis", and "amani toomer ray lewis". I had to laugh when the first option produced NO results, and the second two offered only one -- this thread! :069: [N.B. if anyone o'you yung'uns can offer a better/more efficient information search thought, I'm all ears!]
Seems to me that Toomer is a bit off base if he really said that one "can't forgive what happened in Atlanta". Is Toomer without sin such that he can cast the first stone on this one? I've been critical over the years (going back to early 2000's Sunspot days) of Lewis' behavior and actions. I notice that he pled guilty to OOJ, owning up to what I believe is what he really did in terms of participation. I notice that he served probation, AND payed a (for that time) enormous fine. Why cannot I, or anyone, forgive him? He's paid his debt to society. (FTR, I also think Lewis knows more than what he offered to the court/trial, but that's another discussion, and NOT part of his football career.)
Which segues nicely into my second thought on Toomer's comment that "you have to take that into account when you look at Ray's football career". In a word -- Why? If that is so, there are a lot of big name, star celebrity NFLers who need to update their People Magazine profiles so that "the world" can assess their football careers. You know....guys like:
--->Ben ("s'cuse me, Toots, I know we're in the bathroom, but you're shoe's untied!)") Roethlisberger;
--->Payton "Here, honey, I'll do an interview with you in the locker room, let's dangle my doodles in your face" Manning;
---->Eugene 'Big Daddy' "Sure, heroin's illegal, I knew that!" Lipscomb (who, BTW, was honored by NFL types such as Dan Rooney, Steelers Vice President Art Rooney, Jr., team scout Bill Nunn, former long-time coach Dick Hoak, long-time Steelers broadcaster Myron Cope, former sports editor of the Pittsburgh Press Roy McHugh, and former team officials Joe Gordon and Ed Kiely;
and I know there's a lot more, but that is hardly the point.
Ray Lewis was hardly an angel in his pre-Ravens Super Bowl days. He made some REALLY bad choices in Atlanta. What I've posted before and I'll post again is, the guy has walked the walk in the aftermath, apparently staying essentially trouble-free (subsequent non-substantiated charges by gold-diggers in Woodlawn notwithstanding) and following a much more desirable life path, while playing some magnificent football in that time. So, YEAH, Amani, let's take Ray's Atlanta troubles into account regarding his FOOTBALL CAREER, along with his ensuing (more or less) model societal behavior, along with his contributions to the Ravens team and organization, including the Baltimore and surrounding community, and the overall "good of the game".
Being the sinner that I am, :eek: I can forgive him Atlanta, and I can EASILY account for his football career...
Howard was gunning for Ray the whole time.
Agree that Lewis was no where near a saint that night...he made horrible choices, both in his company that evening and in the frantic hours after the murder (remember, his limo was shot at as it sped away) when he decided to try and cover up for his friends. But none of that makes him a murderer, which is what the DA and mayor claimed before ever questioning him. Also recall, this was less than 3 months after Rae Carruth had his 8-month pregnant girlfriend murdered and there was a strong sentiment to not let high priced athletes get away with serious crimes.
He was tried and convicted in the court of public opinion way before the actual facts of the case came out in court. I can still remember the incredulous Rick Reilly the night the Ravens won the SB basically calling Lewis a murderer.