Jamal Lewis stepped to the microphone at midfield, rain soaked and all, and reflected on his career as a Baltimore Raven.
“Thank you all, for the best night of my life,” he said.
Not many would peg a rainy Thursday in September as the best night of their lives, but for Lewis, tonight was a culmination of a Hall of Fame career.
Thursday night, the Ravens inducted Lewis into the team’s Ring of Honor. Lewis joins the likes of Earnest Byner, Jonathan Ogden, Matt Stover and Michael McCrary. Lewis’ name will sit just to the right of former linebacker Peter Boulware.
There aren’t enough hours in the day to talk about all of the accolades Lewis achieved during his career, but here are some of the highlights:
* Lewis finished his career 21st on the all-time rushing list. Over his 10-year career, Lewis tallied 10,607 yards, including a historic 2,066-yard campaign in 2003. That single-season total is the second most in NFL history, trailing only Eric Dickerson’s 1984 season in which the Hall of Famer rushed for 2,105 yards.
* Lewis is the Ravens’ all-time franchise leader in rushing yards (7,801), attempts (1,822) and touchdowns (45).
* Lewis trails only kickers Matt Stover and Billy Cundiff for points scored in franchise history with 284, although he wasn’t exactly close to Stover (1,464).
* Ran for 103 yards and a touchdown as a rookie in the Ravens’ 34-7 win over the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV.
His speech was short and sweet. Lewis made sure to thank those closest to him, including the late Art Modell, who was the owner of the Ravens when the team drafted Lewis with the 5th overall pick in 2000.
Lewis made a name for himself bulldozing his way over opposing defenses. Now, that name will be remembered in the Ravens’ Ring of Honor.