In honour of Ray Lewis’ retirement announcement today, here is his epic pre-game speech on ‘effort’ given to the Stanford Cardinals before their 2012 NIT Semifinal game.
"If tomorrow wasn’t promised - what would you give for today? Forget everything else.
Forget everything else. Forget that there was any sunlight left. What would you spend today…thinking about? Yourself? Or the man that’s beside you? Or the man that you know you’d give everything in your heart for? What would you think about? We get one opportunity in life. One chance at life. To do whatever you’re going to do.
To lay your foundation and to make whatever mark you’re going to make. Whatever legacy you’re going to leave. Leave your legacy. And it’s found through effort. Wins and losses come a dime a dozen. But effort, nobody can judge effort.
Because effort is between you and you. Effort ain’t got nothing to do with nobody else. So that team that think they’re ready to see you… They think what they’ve seen on film… They ain’t saw what film shows. Because everyday is a new day. Every moment is a new moment. So now you’ve got to go out and show them that I’m a different creature - NOW - than I was five minutes ago.
Because I’m pissed off for greatness. Because if you ain’t pissed off for greatness that means you’re okay with being mediocre. And ain’t no man in here okay with being just basic. So lets do what we do - TONIGHT.
We ain’t got to worry about taking no breaks.”