Not everyone got swept up in the emotional atmosphere and memorable moments that marked Ray Lewis’ last game in Baltimore on Sunday.
Colts veteran wideout Reggie Wayne took exception to the way Lewis finished the day with his trademark dance after the Ravens’ final kneel-down to end the wild card win.
“I saw it as disrespectful,” Wayne said Monday on Indianapolis radio station WNDE-AM. “They’d already had a tribute every quarter.”
On Tuesday, Lewis was given a chance to respond to Wayne, someone he’s known a long time.
“Love him to death,” Lewis said. “But listen man, it wasn’t about them at that time. That was about capping off a heck of a legacy - for 17 years. When he was in Pop Warner playing football, I was in Baltimore and to salute my city that way, I guess the trot around the field was disrespectful, too.
“No. It wasn’t even about them. The game was over, triple zeroes, it was was over. I didn’t go toward their sideline or make no big issue of that because I’ve never been that type of player. But to salute my city, knowing that people love to see that. People love to see it, and not just people. My teammates were the ones who encouraged me the most, saying, ‘Man, just go out and give it to us one more time, knowing that this will be the last time time that you actually do it at Ravens stadium.’
“So I don’t take it a bad way. Of course after a loss, everybody’s bitter. I’ve felt the same way many times like that and I love Reggie to death. Reggie will tell you how much I love him, and there was nothing personal between him and the Colts. I texted (Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano) immediately after the game and told him how much I care for him and how much I love him. So it wasn’t even about them. It was about me honoring my team and honoring my city.”