When a CBS crew brought an unengraved Lombardi Trophy into the Under Armour Performance Center on Wednesday, Ray Lewis was having none of it.
The Ravens’ star linebacker had the trophy awarded annually to the Super Bowl winner removed from the building rather than allowing his teammates to take promotional photos with it.
“You see everybody wants to have you take pictures with it. And like I told my team, ‘Don’t take pictures with nothing that’s not yours, nothing that you haven’t earned,’ ” Lewis said Thursday. “When we hold that Lombardi, whoever holds that Lombardi next Sunday, you’ve earned it when you touch it. Don’t fool yourself and try to trick yourself, ‘Oh, this is really great.’ Don’t go through that. I don’t really believe in jinxes and all that. I just believe in don’t set yourself up for something that’s really hurtful.”
Other Ravens agreed with the move, including tailback Ray Rice.
“I think it’s great,” he said. “I’m not superstitious or anything, but I don’t want to see something that’s not rightfully ours yet. We’ve got to work to get that and that’s why when we’re going down to New Orleans, with all the fun put aside, this is indeed a business trip. This is the biggest stage for everybody to see and the goal is to go down there to win it.
“So I don’t want to see it. We’ve got the Lamar Hunt (Trophy). We’ve seen that, that was in our locker room. I don’t want to see the Super Bowl trophy unless it’s rightfully ours.”
Rice is of the same mindset as Lewis in the way he approaches the Super Bowl.
“I’ve never been to a Super Bowl game. I’ve been down to a few Super Bowls for appearances, but I told myself I’m never going to one unless I’m playing in it,” Rice said.
Defensive end Art Jones said most of the Ravens understood to stay away from the Lombardi Trophy when it was in the building.
“We haven’t earned that trophy yet and we’ve got to play this game and once we win this game, then it’ll be our trophy,” Jones said. “Everyone can do whatever they want to the trophy - kiss it or polish it or whatever. But until then, that’s just a dream.”