I teared up when Ray Lewis was visibly emotional during the National Anthem.
I yelled in frustration - a lot - during the first quarter.
I cheered when Torrey Smith went up to grab a 25-yard pass in the second quarter.
I cheered when Ray Rice got the Ravens on the board, when Pitta gave Bmore the lead, when Boldin caught his second TD to give the Ravens a bigger cushion and when Danell Ellerbe and Cary Williams intercepted Tom Brady - and a lot in between, too (plus ranting at the officials on Twitter).
I jumped up and down and high-fived and hugged, but the most emotional, powerful moment was when I sat quietly, overwhelmed by the win but even more by O.J. Brigance’s locker room speech.
“Your resiliency has outlasted your adversity,” he told the team.
It’s true, but anyone could just as easily say that about Brigance.
The team’s senior adviser to player development, Brigance was on the last Ravens team to go to (and win) a Super Bowl and he was an honorary team captain for the AFC Championship Game.
He was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, a degenerative disease that affects muscle function, back in 2007.
It’s remarkable that even though he’s lost most of his motor function and even uses a machine to speak, he’s continued to be part of the organization on a daily basis, and I love the Ravens for so fully embracing him. (More)
ALS doesn’t have a known cause, or a known cure.
To learn more, check out Brigance Brigade, Brigance’s organization to support people living with ALS, or Team Gleason, started by former New Orleans Saints special teamer Steve Gleason, who was diagnosed with the disease two years ago.
Brian Dawkins & Chip Kelly
Cliff Lee’s RBI double
Cut skit from dress rehearsal Season 32 Episode 16 with Peyton Manning
HOW HAS THIS NEVER BEEN IN MY LIFE BEFORE
Usain Bolt graces the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated after capturing his second straight gold medal in the 100 meters. (Simon Bruty/SI)