(Ray Lewis photo courtesy of Baltimore Ravens)
Talk of Fame Network
The NFL will kick off a new season next weekend, but Ray Lewis won’t be watching.
That’s one of a string of provocative opinions the former All-Pro and 13-year Pro Bowl linebacker shared with the Talk of Fame Network this week. During a wide-ranging interview, Lewis lamented the ways the game has changed since the adoption of a series of restrictive rules limiting defensive players in an effort to reduce injuries.
“I don’t know if I could play today,’’ Lewis said on the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast. “We’ve created a word in sports called ‘targeting.’ That’s for archery.’’
Lewis said he seldom watches anything but his son’s games and finds the NFL difficult because of the shackles now put on defensive players.
“I’m so tired of referees throwing flags,’’ Lewis said. “I can’t watch the game. I’m too passionate for that.’’
Lewis joins Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ All-Pro cornerback Ronde Barber. Like Lewis, he’s eligible for the Hall in 2018. The road may be a bit more difficult for Barber, who joined the Hall of Fame Guys – Clark Judge, Ron Borges and Rick Gosselin – for a frank discussion of his Hall-of-Fame dreams, as well as how one of his most difficult moments in football came after intercepting two Donovan McNabb in a game and returning them for touchdowns.
“I came out after the game, and there was Donovan’s Mom,’’ Barber recalled. “She wanted to know why I pick on Donovan. I told her I liked Donovan!’’
The Talk of Fame Network’s month-long series on ex-NFL players and coaches now coaching high school football this week travels to Cape Cod, Mass., to visit with former Green Bay Packers and Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman. After Sherman retired two years ago to his beachside home in Dennis, Mass., he thought his coaching days were over. But he was lured back to the field to try and rebuild a program at tiny Nauset Regional High School. His reaction to first arriving and realizing a third of his players were only in the eighth grade is a lesson in humor and humility.
Writer Jerry Barca also stops by to discuss his latest book “The Big Blue Wrecking Crew,’’ which tells the story of the 1986 New York Giants’ Super Bowl winners. Among the things he found most surprising were the number of organized crime figures who seemed to intertwine themselves into the lives of a number of Giants, several of whom made appearances at birthdays and barbecues for the children of mobsters.
There’s all that, plus lively debate about quarterback injuries, the folly of pre-season football and Ron’s “Borges or Bogus’’ segment defending the stand – or rather sit-down – of 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick when it comes to the playing of the national anthem.
The two-hour show can be heard on 80 radio SB Nation radio stations around the country or on our podcast at iTunes. You can also hear the show by downloading the TuneIn app or going to our website at talkoffamenetwork.com and clicking on the microphone icon.