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Jamal Lewis would do it all over again
He's living the effects of CTE. He doesn't know what the future holds. But the Baltimore Ravens great knows this: Football did so much good in his life.
Pro football is a cruel game that often leaves players in severe pain for years. Concussions add a darker unknown. Jamal Lewis is one of many retirees who has dealt with depression and suicidal thoughts.
Yet, he’s pressing on. By finding a new purpose in life — and staying active — the Baltimore Ravens great combats the symptoms of CTE best he can.
Most stunning to us outsiders? He’d carry the ball 2,672 times again without thinking twice.
That’s a theme with so many former NFL players. Despite suffering physically and mentally, most still treasure everything football did for them and their families.
We had Lewis on our most recent Happy Hour with VIP subscribers, and he was open on all topics:
Life today. Finding his why. He’s a busy man in Atlanta.
What made those 2000 Ravens so special. Tony Siragusa and Shannon Sharpe usually had teammates in stitches… and the rookie Lewis suspiciously was left paying most limo bills.
His Tennessee Vol days, playing with Peyton Manning and his thoughts on NIL.
The most vicious hit he ever took on the field. (Hint: It involves Sean Taylor.)
How football served as his saving grace in the hardscrabble Adamsville neighborhood of Atlanta, Ga. The reason for his choppy, high-knee running style? The field he used to play on was covered in glass.
Reconciling the violence of football. We all were questioning our relationship with the sport when Damar Hamlin nearly died on a field. And here’s Lewis, 43, battling darker thoughts to this day. He explains why he’d still play a decade in the NFL and absorb all those wincing collisions.
If you’d like to hang out with past and present NFL players, you can always upgrade to a VIP membership. Thanks to all who have already. Let me know which players you’d like to share a beer with and I’ll do everything I can to make it happen.
Catch the Jamal Lewis video replay above with audio links below.
Also, ICYMI, I chatted with Matthew Coller of Purple Insider all about the NFC North this week if you need a Packers or Vikings fix. It was a lively discussion.
Have a great weekend, everyone.