Ray Lewis wrote a book.
Yes, that Ray Lewis wrote a book. You know, the one known for being among the most inspirational and feared football players to ever throw on the pads. And he’ll be at Changing Hands in Phoenix on Sunday, October 25, to shake hands and sign copies of his memoir, I Feel Like Going On, and motivate his fans to be better people.
Sure, you may have watched him play linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowls XXXV and XLVII. Or maybe you've seen him on commercials and video game covers and heard about what happened in Atlanta back in 2000 when he was involved in a murder trial. (The murder charges against him were dismissed.) But you probably don’t know Lewis’ own views on his story — outside of the occasional documentary or ESPN special. Lewis wants to change that, and share through his book everything from being raised by his mom to his NFL career, faith, and controversy off the field.
“A lot of people have seen my story, but nobody ever told my story,” Lewis says. “I waited until the right time for me. I’ve been out of the league for a few years, but I can still motivate people everyday.”
At 40, Lewis has already made the transition from Super Bowl MVP to ESPN analyst with relative ease. If you ask the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, it’s one of the best decisions he ever made.
“I personally think this is one of the greatest things to happen in my career,” Lewis says. “I’m so excited to be able to see my son’s [college] games every weekend. He can look over and know that I’m right there. I can say that I left the game on my terms.”
Speaking of parenting, Lewis says he has a high standard to live up to when raising his own child, as his mother set the bar extremely high. Lewis credits his mother with making him the man he is today and believes it’s due time he pays her back for all the time and effort she put in.
“With all of the things I’ve been doing, I can finally thank my mom for everything she’s done for me,” Lewis says. “My mom inspired me in everything. She did a heck of a job raising me without a father around, and I applaud her for that.”
That's what made Lewis want to inspire people, which is one of the many things the legendary former linebacker wants to do with his book. He’s had his ups and downs, but it’s the drive and dedication to overcome it all that has Lewis on his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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“Some things in life you can’t go around, you have to go through it,” Lewis says. “But when you go through it, on the other side, there’s glory. I wanted to do a book to inspire other people to not be afraid to go through things. Fear is what keeps people in bed.”
While Lewis is a firm believer in religion, faith, and perseverance, there’s one thing he doesn’t believe in: Analysts making Super Bowl predictions.
“I always used to get mad at analysts who would say ‘This team is going to the Super Bowl,’” Lewis laughs when asked for his Super Bowl prediction. “I’m just looking forward to watching some great games in the playoffs this year. All I know is every game, one team is going to leave sick and one team is going to leave happy.”
Ray Lewis will be at Changing Hands Bookstore at 300 W. Camelback Rd. in Phoenix at 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 24. A ticket to the signing is free with purchase of the book ($26.99) from Changing Hands.