Ravens: 10 reasons they WILL win the Super Bowl in 2015, #4


On Monday, August 10th, 2015, Steve Smith Sr. announced to the Ravens, the NFL, and the world, that at the conclusion of this upcoming 2015-16 NFL season, he will be retiring from playing professional football.

May 28, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith, Sr. (89) speaks after the OTA at the Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

No big deal, right? He spent 13 years with the Carolina Panthers and just 2 (will be 2 at the conclusion of the season) with the Baltimore Ravens. His heart is in Carolina, he’s no “Raven for Life” type of guy like Ray Lewis, Jonathan Ogden, Peter Boulware or presumably, Terrell Suggs.

So this should pretty much just be one of those “OK, thanks for your services Steve! Enjoy retirement” type of deals, right?

Wrong. This is a big deal… an even bigger deal considering that Steve Smith Sr. is in a Ravens jersey.

Jan 10, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith (89) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the New England Patriots during the first quarter in the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Since the Ravens’ inception into the NFL, there has been a rather elite group of players who have retired on top.

  • John Elway retired at the conclusion of Super Bowl XXXII
  • Jerome Bettis retired at the conclusion of Super Bowl XL
  • Michael Strahan retired at the conclusion of Super Bowl XLII
  • Ray Lewis retired at the conclusion of Super Bowl XLVII

3 Hall of Famers. 1 sure 1st ballot Hall of Famer when his time of eligibility comes.

It would be nice to add Steve Smith, Sr. to that list and make it a complete top 5.

Besides, it does something to a team when that team knows that their leader, their veteran, their resident “big brother” is calling it quits at the conclusion of the season. It’s igniting, it installs an extra layer of determination and not wanting to disappoint. Remember 2013 when Atlanta begged Tony Gonzalez to return for one last season and ended up going 4-12? Yeah that’s an example of when retiring on top goes wrong.

Remember what happened the last time we had a player like this retire? … Steve Smith is one hell of a guy, and maybe we can send him out with something special.” – Terrell Suggs

Jan 3, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) celebrates with Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs (55) after their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2014 AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Heinz Field. The Ravens won 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

He has had a great career. I think it is awesome to spend time with him at the end of his career and to see if we can win it for him going out.” – Joe Flacco

The last Raven (or player overall) to retire on top was Ray Lewis. When Lewis announced his retirement at the conclusion of the season, it was a decision driven by family and wanting to be a father and family man on a more consistent basis.

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That type of determination leads to a level of motivation to make that retirement worth it. It’s the ultimate to celebrate the years of sacrifice that children and spouses make, the weeks on the road away from your children, missing epic growing up moments. To retire on top, is the ultimate ‘thank you’ to a family who gave up so much so that a man could live out his professional football dreams.

That’s the type of man Ray Lewis was during his ‘last ride,’ and that’s the type of man Steve Smith Sr. is now on his ‘last ride’. With such a fire in the eyes and will in the heart to reach the finish line and close the chapter of this football life, it can only lead to one thing….

Sep 22, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis acknowledges the crowd during halftime of the game against the Houston Texans at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

A Vince Lombardi trophy in hand, a Super Bowl ring on the finger.

Counting down the 10 reasons the Ravens will win the 2015 Super Bowl:

Reason #5

Reason #6

Reason #7

Reason #8

Reason #9

Reason #10

Next: Is Steve Smith Hall of Fame bound?

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