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Muhammad Ali takes a group picture with the 2012 Ravens prior to the teams season opener (NY Times)

While many football fans remember Ray Lewis courage leading the 2012 Ravens to their last Super Bowl ring in Lewis’ final season he wasn’t alone in motivating the 2012 champions. On this day we remember the great Muhammad Ali and the 2012 Raven teams were just one of many memories that involved the greatest ever. The recently passed Muhammad Ali made a surprise visit to Ravens’ practice and stuck around for the Ravens to beat Cincinnati in week one. It would be the first victory on the road to many that lead to the Lombardi Trophy.

 

Muhammad Ali and his lovely wife Lonnie continued to follow the Ravens that season and had an ever lasting effect.

“We were totally taken,” she wrote in an email to the New York Times in January 2013. “They are a family, and we felt like family. We became fans.”

Despite receiving an invitation to travel with the team during the trip to New Orleans for the Super Bowl, Ali declined and decided to watch the game at home with his family. Following the Ravens victory Muhammad’s daughter Layla tweeted out a touching picture of her fathers support for the Ravens.

 

Somewhere still inside Raven headquarters head coach John Harbaugh is probably yelling at some rookie asking him ‘Whats His Name’. The effect Muhammad Ali had on that team probably cannot be given the proper justice.