A conversation with Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis
is typically dotted with homespun philosophy, frequent mentions of faith and biblical references. This week Lewis encouraged members of the news media to read Psalm 91, which ends, "With long life I will satisfy him, and show him my salvation."
"For me, through the ups and downs, the roller coasters of 17 years, you have to find a safe place," Lewis said. "You have to find that place that is very quiet in your head, and anytime I read it, anytime I come across it, my Bible, the first Scripture in there is Psalms 91."
During an interview last year at about this time, I asked Lewis which biblical figure he most closely identified with. Without hesitation, Lewis cited David, who is often depicted as a flawed but righteous king, warrior, musician and poet.
It is easy to see where that identification comes from, especially now. When Lewis and the Ravens face Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos on Saturday, they will be significant underdogs, David against an A.F.C. Goliath.
Lewis, with typical certainty, dismissed any doubters.