Seventeen years ago,
star inside linebacker
was an exuberant rookie competing against
Rushing on an inside blitz, Lewis decked Harbaugh for the first sack of his
career in the Ravens' inaugural season.
"Absolutely, I remember it," Lewis said during the lead-up to
XLVII. "How could I forget it? It is one of those things that when you are playing the game when you first come in as a rookie, you are just running around. And I was just running around making plays. When I sacked him, I remember getting up and doing this dance with my shoulders, and shaking my shoulders, or whatever. And later, I became teammates with him as well. Been a long time, but the ride, I would never complain about one moment of it."
The Colts got the victory that day, a 26-21 win despite Harbaugh being sacked four times.
"My legend grows," Jim Harbaugh quipped recently when his father, Jack, reminded him of being sacked by the two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. "Ray Lewis' first sack."
Lewis and Harbaugh, once known as "Captain Comeback," were later teammates in Baltimore.
"I think he was exactly how he is as a coach," Lewis said. "He is kind of straightforward. He is a hard worker. He understands what he wants to get done. And when he comes in to get it done, he is going to do everything he has in his power to get it done. He is a very passionate person, but he always has purpose in what he is doing. That is what I remember most about Jim."
— Aaron Wilson
Other Ray Lewis firsts:
Sept. 1, 1996. Lewis starts at middle linebacker in the Ravens' first game, a 19-14 victory over the
at Memorial Stadium.
Sept. 8, 1996. In a 31-17 setback to the
in Pittsburgh, Lewis makes 10 tackles.
First pre-game dance:
Sept. 10, 2000. Lewis, showing glee upon his return to
Stadium after an off-season in which a double-murder trial put his career in doubt, dances onto the field during player introductions before a victory over the
as the crowd roars.
Sept. 1, 1996. Lewis stops Oakland fullback Derrick Fenner in the first half of the Ravens' win over the Raiders.
Sept. 1, 1996. In the same game, Lewis picks off a pass from
in the end zone for a second-quarter touchback against Oakland.
First interception returned for a touchdown:
Jan. 7, 2001. Lewis swipes a pass from
and goes 50 yards for a score in the Ravens' 24-10 division playoff victory over the
First fumble recovery:
Oct. 8, 2000. Lewis scoops up a botched snap at the Ravens' 7-yard line in a 15-10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Oct. 10, 1999. In a 14-11 loss to Tennessee, Lewis drops Titans running back
in the end zone.
2001. The Ravens defeat theNew York
, 34-7 in Tampa, and Lewis is named Most Valuable Player.
First time All Pro (first team):
First NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award: