Wednesday 17 October 2018

Hard hitting story: A spotlight on Jamal Lewis

As you might imagine, I really don't like the Baltimore Ravens.

I had to put up with three years of not having a team to cheer for, and for just over half that time didn't even watch a NFL game. I had to watch the Ravens win two Super Bowls, when my team hasn't even appeared in one. I had to watch one of my favorite players become their GM, and wear a Ravens golf shirt in a NFL Network show that talked about the Browns move to Baltimore. And I have had to put up with the Ravens beating the Browns three of every four times they have played them.

I also had to watch one of their running backs run for 500 yards in two games against the Browns during the 2003 season. (295 yards in Baltimore on September 14, and 205 yards in Cleveland on December 21.)

2005 Donruss Classics - Past & Present Silver #PP-6 (#/500)

This is one of three Jamal Lewis cards as a Raven that are part of my collection, all of them shared with Jim Brown.

In twelve games against the Browns, Lewis ran for 1524 yards (5.62 yards/carry), and 8 touchdowns. I hated having to watch the Browns play against Jamal Lewis.

When, all of a sudden, Jamal Lewis signed with the Browns as a free agent in 2007, I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I really didn't like what he had done to my team in the past, but on the other there was the feeling of 'if you can't beat him, get him to join you'.

2007 Upper Deck #43

This card is for Night Owl. We had a nice discussion the other day at how wonderful it is to see a card of your team featuring a photo of the player in a hated rival's uniform.

Jamal Lewis played three seasons with the Browns, being placed on injured reserve after nine games in his final season - 2009. In each of his two full seasons with the Browns, he rushed for over 1000 yards. He did his best to bring a winning attitude to the Browns. I learned to like him.

At this time, I have 130 different Jamal Lewis cards in my collection. I only own one autograph, received from Wes last December.

2008 Upper Deck - Signature Shots #SS13

Here are some of my favorite Jamal Lewis cards from my collection.

2007 Topps Chrome - White Refractors #TC66 (#/869)

I don't own many white refractors, and really like the look of this one.

2007 Topps Triple Threads - Sepia #48 (#/639)

I also have the Emerald parallel of this card, and Lewis really pops out from the green background on it, but this one just fits the Browns uniform better.

2008 Playoff Contenders #25

I like how the two images on this card show both the brown and white uniforms.

2008 SPx #76

Who doesn't like die cut cards?

2008 Stadium Club - First Day Issue #42 (#/1499)

Or 1st Day Issue cards?

2008 Topps Mayo #59

I also like this Topps Mayo set, and the Lewis card in it.

2009 Philadelphia #47

Here's another modern card with an old-time look.

2009 SPx - Winning Materials #W-JL (#/249)

I own a few Lewis memorabilia cards, but with two colors, this one has the best swatch on it.

2009 Topps National Chicle #C64

Here's yet another modern card with an old look, and I have something else to go with this card to finish up with.

2009 Topps National Chicle - Magenta Printing Plate #C64

I'm not sure how many Browns printing plates I own, but I'm not going to miss this chance to show one again.

As to why I decided to do this profile on Jamal Lewis, well, it is because of an article from last May that I just came across the other day. I really recommend reading it.

Jamal Lewis is 39 years old, and I am amazed at how he is dealing with his post-career health issues. I don't know if I would have his optimism, and the fight in me that he has. I'm also very disappointed to see what they say in the article about how the NFL is dealing with a former player with cognitive damage.

Thank you, Jamal Lewis, for the sporting entertainment you provided me, even as I was yelling at the tv when you set a then NFL single game rushing record against my team. I hope that football continues to make safety and helmet improvements, and makes it so other players don't end up with the same lasting heath issues that you are dealing with. I'm sorry that former players like you have had to suffer for these safety improvements and protocols to come about.


  1. -That is one heck of an article on Jamal Lewis...thanks for sharing....

  2. Coincidentally my wife and I drove past the Ravens stadium this afternoon. She asked my why I wasn't Ravens fan since this is my town. I explained that I did try. I really did. I even had a shirt and sticker on my car. But my heart wasn't in it. They were some other town's stolen team. I was wrecked by the Colts move. I couldn't back the Ravens who'd done the same thing to Cleveland without feeling like a hypocrite.

    Luckily the Texans eventually came along and I had a team again.

  3. Had to stop reading the article you shared, because it was bringing me down. It's one of the reasons I try not to watch the news. But hearing about NFL players' lives after football are more often saddening than positive. It's a vicious sport that as fans we embrace and cheer for. But the toll it takes on some of these guys definitely makes you think about the future of the sport we love.

  4. Sad what happens to so many players post career. The Browns fans I know will never forgive Art Modell.