Let’s state clearly and unequivocally for the record that Ray Lewis deserves the praise headed his way. He’s a legit first ballot Hall of Famer, one of the greatest linebackers in his era, and a leader of what has been a perennial playoff contender.
- But Ray Lewis is not the greatest defender in NFL history.
In doing so he discounted arguments in favor of the likes of Dick Butkus, Reggie White, Ronnie Lott, and Lawrence Taylor.
He of course conveniently avoided comparing Lewis to one player, one player who played in the division he covers, one who clearly must be ranked above Lewis.
- And that player is Joe Greene.
"Mean" Joe Greene personally paved the way for the Immaculate Reception, but going down to Houston and leading a Steelers team missing L.C. Greenwood, Jon Kolb, Gerry Mullins, Sam Davis, Dwight White, Steve Furness and Terry Bradshaw all either sat out the game or left due injury.
It turns out they didn’t need any of them. They had Joe Greene who:
- Sacked the quarterback 5 times
- Blocked a field goal
- Recovered a fumble that set up a field goal
- Forced another fumble that set up a field goal
Ray Lewis had a lot of great games for Baltimore. He was a dominate figure in many of them. But did he ever single handedly win a game? (Oh, and Joe Greene also had 3 more Super Bowl rings than Lewis….)
Steelers Nation: To the Barricades!
So let’s give Ray Lewis his due. He’s not only a true great of the game, but he’s also one of the few greats in the post-Freeman McNeil era (that’s the court case that brought free agency to the NFL) that played his entire career with one game.
Good for Ray.
- But let’s keep things in perspective.
|Joe Greene trails Ray Lewis (as of 1/5/13) in this ESPN Poll|
It shouldn’t be that way and it doesn’t have to be that way fortunately, because you my fellow citizens of Steelers Nation, have a voice.
- You can go to ESPN's poll and vote now to correct this miscarriage of justice.
Know that you can make a difference. Other Steelers sites are calling attention to this poll, and in the last week both Greene and Rod Woodson have crept up. So do your part.
Go to ESPN and vote.