By Mark F. Grey, AFRO Workers Author, [email protected]
Within the 1989 hit film “Harlem Nights,” the character Sugar Ray, performed by Richard Pryor, was virtually shot after a card sport till slightly child stepped as much as save him who earned the named “Fast”, performed by Eddie Murphy- and so they turned inseparable. The duo was so formidable they withstood soiled cops and took down different shady gangs who threatened their nightclub empire earlier than using off into the sundown after saving Harlem.
Sugar and Fast are returning for an encore that may final without end however it gained’t be on the silver display. Sugar – as Corridor of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis was referred to as by his Baltimore Ravens teammates – was joined by Fast who security Ed Reed was referred to as in similar locker room – was elected into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in his first of eligibility throughout Tremendous Bowl week festivities in Atlanta. By incomes his gold jacket and bust, Canton Reed will take his place with Lewis and Jonathan Ogden amongst the best group of all time.
Reed now formally joins Ogden and Lewis as the usual bearers of recent professional soccer in Baltimore. Every member of the trio was the best participant within the historical past of the Ravens franchise at their place and arguably the perfect since skilled soccer debuted in Appeal Metropolis. They had been the core of what gave the group its intimidating presence as one of many elite franchises within the league.
The match between Reed and Lewis couldn’t have been scripted any higher. Their distinctive on-field synergy appeared to reach from the College of Miami by osmosis. As a tandem, the “U” boys had been the perfect mixture of linebacker and security in NFL historical past. Championship groups, in each sport, are constructed from the within out. Reed and Lewis choked opposing offense as a result of “Sugar” took away the middle of the sphere close to the road of scrimmage, whereas “Fast” made opposing quarterbacks reluctant to throw deep.
For greater than a decade they compelled groups into lengthy drives by not giving up large performs down discipline. Lewis crushed these in his path with the ferocity of a lineman, whereas Reed administered linebacker’s punishment to these receivers daring sufficient to enterprise into his territory within the secondary. Each had been feared leaders and pillars within the foundations to a Tremendous Bowl championship by doing it in several methods. They had been back-to-back NFL Defensive Gamers of the Yr in 2003 and 2004 respectively.
Lewis was, and nonetheless is, the face of the Ravens franchise. He by no means noticed a microphone he didn’t like and danced so effectively coming into M&T Financial institution Stadium he ought to’ve changed Jacoby Jones on Dancing with the Stars. Reed, however, was the overall reverse. He by no means appeared comfy within the highlight and by no means introduced any consideration to himself till sport time. In an period of narcissistic stars wanting so as to add social media followers and develop their manufacturers, Reed collected interceptions and solely grew a beard.
Legend has when Deion Sanders – one other Corridor of Famer – performed for the Ravens that he was advised that when the ball was within the air it belonged to him. Reed bought the message and completed his profession with 164 interceptions and 13 touchdowns. On the uncommon event that he returned punts, Reed flipped the sphere and set a few of the putrid, Brian Billick coached and Kyle Boller led offenses for no matter microscopic ultimate rating it may muster.
The voters bought this one proper. Ed Reed is a Corridor of Famer who was elected on his first poll. His understated brilliance may be appreciated because the stuff of legend.