6. Dance before Super Bowl 35
Ray Lewis played in and won two Super Bowls in his 17-year career, but he only performed the pregame squirrel dance before Super Bowl 35 against the New York Giants in Tampa. At this time, Lewis had not added in Nelly’s tune, but the dance proved a point that Lewis has made for years since hoisting his first Lombardi Trophy – the defense oozed confidence. Lewis, as the leader of the historic unit, was not afraid to show it.
The confidence carried over into the game, where the Ravens rolled over the Giants 34-7. The Ravens defense shut-out the Giants, as the lone New York touchdown came on a 97-yard kickoff return by Ron Dixon in the third quarter. The Giants offense never stood a chance, being limited to 152 total yards. Quarterback Kerry Collins threw four interceptions, and 3-time Pro Bowl running back Tiki Barber finished the game with 49 rushing yards.
Lewis finished the game with five tackles and was named MVP. He tipped a pass that became a Jamie Sharper interception.
Even though Lewis’s dance did not have the musical theatrics at the time, it clearly fired up his defense. Little did Ravens fans know that the iconic squirrel dance would become a tradition in the coming years.