I guess it was only a matter of time before somebody brought serious exaggeration to the table. Should we be surprised that it is Ray Lewis bringing it? Lewis sat down with Sal Paolantonio and discussed a variety of issues, including the potential impact of the 2011 NFL Lockout dragging into the regular season:
"Do this research if we don't have a season -- watch how much evil, which we call crime, watch how much crime picks up, if you take away our game ... There's too many people that live through us, people live through us. Yeah, walk in the streets, the way I walk the streets, and I'm not talking about the people you see all the time."
When asked why he thought crime would increase if the NFL doesn't play games this year, Lewis said: "There's nothing else to do Sal."
When I first saw the headline for this I assumed Lewis was talking about crimes committed by NFL players. Naturally I laughed given his own brush with the law. However, Lewis was in fact talking about something a whole lot bigger. In reading over his comments, you'd almost think we were in some kind of post-apocalyptic nightmare world of chaos and woe where football is all we have to remember how good things used to be.
Is Ray sounding as crazy to you as he does to me? I realize he's a very passionate player, but this seems to be just a bit over the top. If the lockout does carry into the NFL season, I'm sorry to inform Ray that people will indeed find other things to do. Maybe college football ratings will go up. Maybe baseball will have huge September ratings. Maybe basketball and hockey will get more people in the door.
I don't know what's going to happen if football games are lost to this labor stoppage, but if there is an increase in crime, I really don't think it's going to be because of the lockout. Of course, if I get mugged in September and football isn't back at that point, I'll go ahead and blame the lockout.