Ray of Insanity

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Ray of Insanity

There are only four days left until the Super Bowl, which means we only have about 100 hours to absorb, evade, laugh at andor tear our hair out at whatever the hell is going on with Ray Lewis right now.

As you can tell, I've been all over the place on exactly how to feel about Ray. First, you obviously have to respect him as a player. Ray Lewis is a guy you'll tell your children and grandchildren about. For better or worse and every which way, he's a legend.

There's also the fact that he knocked out the Pats, and took great joy in so doing, which takes away some of the luster. There's also the fact that he's pretty much full of crap. That he preaches certain things on the surface -- and does so to a truly outrageous extent -- yet has repeatedly acted in ways that contradict that in personal life.

Not coincidentally, he's also out of his mind, which is something that we've always known about Lewis but is especially true during this last run to the Super Bowl. The man's taken crazy to a whole new level, most recently by showing up to recent press conference with a hairline that had been recently and so-very-obviously been drawn on with what looks to be paint or an industrial strength Sharpie. And then, in my favorite development of the week, Sports Illustrated reported that Lewis may have been acted outside the NFL law in his recovery from torn right triceps. That reportedly led to an interesting conversation between Lewis and one of the representative for a company called Sports With Alternatives To Steroids in which Lewis was:

"Prescribed a deluxe program, including holographic stickers on the right elbow; copious quantities of the powder additive; sleeping in front of a beam-ray light programmed with frequencies for tissue regeneration and pain relief; drinking negatively charged water; a 10-per-day regimen of the deer-antler pills that will "rebuild your brain via your small intestines" (and which Lewis said he hadn't been taking, then swallowed four during the conversation); and spritzes of deer-antler velvet extract (the Ultimate Spray) every two hours."

You know, the deer spray has gotten most of the attention from this story, but I can't get enough of the holographic stickers. I just imagine him busting through the doors at his local CVS and screaming: "Where the STICKERS?!" "No, no. That won't do. I need HOLOGRAMS!"

So yeah, there's the fact that it certainly seems like he cheated to get back on the field. It was highly likely that something was up when Lewis came back so quickly from his injury, when he became the first player to ever suffer torn triceps and make it back to play that same season. And this SI report put it over the top. I mean would anyone be surprised if the Ravens win the Super Bowl, Lewis wins the MVP and then three weeks it's revealedproven once in for all that he took illegal substances? Nah.

So, in the end, I think there's only one thing to do.

Root for the 49ers.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Clayborn beats out Seymour, Vrabel to enter Patriots Hall of Fame

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Clayborn beats out Seymour, Vrabel to enter Patriots Hall of Fame

Raymond Clayborn has been voted into the Patriots Hall of Fame, beating out both Mike Vrabel and Richard Seymour for the honor. The corner, who is tied for the franchise record for interceptions with Ty Law (36), will be the 26th person inducted to the Hall. 

Clayborn was a three-time Pro Bowler (1983, 1985, 1986) during his 13-year Patriots career from 1977 through 1989. He was drafted by the Patriots in the first round (16th overall) out of Texas in 1977, and chipped in both in the secondary and as a kick returner. As a rookie in the return game, he averaged 31 yards per return and brought back three for touchdowns. 

Clayborn reacted to the news on Twitter soon after the announcement was made. 

"I was fortunate to be a season ticket holder during Raymond's entire Patriots career," Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement. "For the first half of his career, he teamed with Michael Haynes to form one of the best corner tandems in league history. Throughout his career, Raymond was a physical, shutdown corner.

"One of my favorite memories was watching the 1985 team advance to the Super Bowl after Raymond helped us break the Orange Bowl curse when he stymied future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino with a dominant performance against Pro Bowl receivers Mark Duper and Mark Clayton. Raymond had six passes defensed and an interception to help us claim our first conference title. It was the greatest upset victory in franchise history at the time and one the entire New England region celebrated. It is a well-deserved honor and I look forward to presenting him his hall of fame jacket."

Clayborn has been a finalist for each of the last four years but was not able to generate enough support in the annual online vote to beat out Ty Law (2014 inductee), Willie McGinest (2015) or Kevin Faulk (2016). Clayborn was eligible to be voted in by the senior committee since he's now been retired for 25 years, but he did not receive the requisite eight of 10 senior committee votes to be elected in that way. 

As it turns out, he didn't need to be. When Kraft called Clayborn with the news, he said Clayborn received over 40 percent of the vote to beat out the pair of three-time Super Bowl champs. 

Kyle Shanahan: One play I regret in Falcons' collapse vs. Patriots

Kyle Shanahan: One play I regret in Falcons' collapse vs. Patriots


Remember that Atlanta Falcons offensive game plan against the Patriots in the final five minutes of the Super Bowl?

Kyle Shanahan, then the Falcons offensive coordinator and now coach of the San Francisco 49ers won't forget it. If Atlanta had simply run the ball and kicked a field goal with an eight-point lead, the Falcons would have likely held off Tom Brady and the Pats' comeback from a 28-3 third-quarter deficit.

Shanahan told The Rich Eisen Show there's one play call he'd like to have back. 

"The second-and-10 that we got sacked on,” Shanahan said. “I wish I had dialed up something differently. And then the next play, we called an option to [Mohamed] Sanu, we got right back in field goal range, but we had a holding call on the play and it knocked us out some more, and an incompletion on the next one.”

Click here for the play: Patriots defensive lineman Trey Flowers sacked Matt Ryan for a 12-yard loss. 

"I go through every single play in the game, but when it comes down to it, the big one was the sack that we had on second-and-10,” Shanahan told Eisen. 

Shanahan probably won't see the Patriots again this season, unless it's in the Super Bowl. And with the 49ers rebuilding under him, that's not likely to happen.