Much has been made by the media of Ray Lewis and his Super Bowl Swan Song, but overshadowed by the retiring of a defensive legend is the impact running back Ray Rice has had on the Ravens and his turbulent life story.
Les Carpenter, who chronicled this tragedy for Yahoo! Sports, told 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny Tuesday that Rice usually soaks up the spotlight, but between the resurgent play of Joe Flacco in the playoffs and Lewis’ ‘Last Ride,’ he’s barely captured the limelight.
“Kind of lost in all that is the guy who’s carried their offense so much the last few years in Ray Rice,” Carpenter said.
A fifth-year player out of Rutgers, Rice has ran for 1,200+ yards in each of the last four seasons, amassing just over 5,500 yards in his career, along with establishing himself as the premier fantasy league back.
“If the Ravens are going to have a chance to win this game, it’s going to have to deal with Ray Rice,” Carpenter said. “I think as much as they take from Ray Lewis, I think they also take from (him).”
While Lewis may be seen as the obvious leader in the highlight reels that flood YouTube, Carpenter said in reality Rice is just as deserving a contributor to the team’s overall personality.
“He keeps the room sort of light,” Carpenter added.
Rice, who grew up in Westchester County outside of New York, had a challenging upbringing attributed to a tragedy that struck very early in his life.
“When he was very young his father was murdered,” Carpenter said. “He was raised by his mother, who’s very strong.”
Although his father died when he was one, Rice did have a relative that served as a fatherly figure to Ray for most of his life.
“A few years ago, that relative was killed in a car accident,” Carpenter said. “The family was told it was a drunk driver, so Ray Rice has always been very outspoken about that.”
With less than a week left for media to explore every angle before San Francisco and Baltimore battle for the Lombardi, hopefully Rice can burst through the defensive coverage and get some shine.