Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Disembodied Shoulder of Rashard Mendenhall

Ray's Retirement Party Week continues with a visit from the Ghost of Injuries Past.

Many Ravens fans remember with glee the HUGE hit Ray Lewis gave Rashard Mendenhall at the then-rookie's first visit to Baltimore. The video below isn't great as far as quality is concerned, but you can still see the hit and get the level of pain Mendenhall had to have been in.

EDIT: Shawn said that I needed to post a transcript for the above photo, as "No one can understand what the hell [he] wrote." Please see below.


Troy: "Really Mr. Lewis, the game will miss you."
Disembodied Shoulder of Rashard Mendenhall: "The game may but I sure won't! Don't let the door hit you!"
Troy: "Oh! That's Rashard's broken shoulder. It's a little bitter."
Disembodied Shoulder of Rashard Mendenhall: "Yo mamma!"
Ray: "HA!" 


Only a few days prior, Rashard had been sending some texts to friend Ray Rice, which were promptly posted on the Ravens' bulletin board in the locker room. As former Raven player Bart Scott said at the time, "He said later that he was just joking, but it's too late. Thanks for the bulletin-board material, rookie."

Ray-Ray's hit on Mendenhall was so hard that it broke the kid's shoulder, ending his rookie season only four weeks into the 2008 season. Many people considered the timing of the hit - Mendenhall talking smack, Mendenhall going to the hospital - to be a little TOO coincidental. Thanks to T-Sizzle's big mouth, it was leaked that the Ravens had put a bounty on that particular Steeler (and his teammate Hines Ward). While Ward was flattered, he reminded Sizzle that such things aren't kosher in the NFL. Ray's smack talking to Sports Illustrated not long after the game pretty much confirmed that the hit was fierce on purpose.

Now, I'm not saying that Ray Lewis isn't a "dirty" player. I'm not saying that the Ravens are angels on the field. They can be brutal. After all, try counting the number of times sportscasters use the (stupid) term "smash mouth" to describe the Baltimore team's defensive playing. But the Steelers aren't saints either. Hines Ward was often voted the NFL's Dirtiest Player by his league peers in 2009, and let's face it: James Harrison is the result of a lion, a furious rhino, and a cheetah mating in a horrible threesome. (Troy comes in at #9 on that same poll. Ray Lewis is #11. James somehow managed not to be included in the top 16; perhaps his peers were terrified he'd go after them?)

Without a powerhouse like Lewis on the team, here's hoping that other Ravens (Sizzle? Kruger? Ngata? Reed?) step up to destroy the "enemy" week after week. But not with hits to the head. That shit's not cool.

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