The Hustle: Baltimore Ravens All-Pro LB Ray Lewis remembers winning his first Super Bowl

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Oct 17, 2017 at 5:13p ET

Ray Lewis takes you inside of the locker room and on the field during the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl 35 victory over the New York Giants

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– 2000 was a special year. Still, to this day, I think about the moment leading up to getting off the plane in Tampa and looking at every one of these guys' faces and realizing how serious everybody really was, how intense this moment was. We got in the locker room, and I'm telling you, it was the most intense place I probably ever seen in my life.

But that day, that day was a day that, I think, forever changed my way that I looked at professional sports because of how these guys were prepared. Not only prepared for the game plan, but prepared not to lose one play. You walked in, and you could hear a rat piss on cotton. It was that quiet, because everybody was so dialed in. And it was so personal to so many people.

You know, to walk around and know that Rob Burnett had went through at Cleveland and just couldn't find a ring. And to see Goose and Sam Adams journey and understand and Michael McCreery journey, man. My D line, those was grown men. But I saw that they didn't have something. And I'll never forget walking up and looking at Rod Woodson's eyes. And I'm looking at his eyes, teary, and I'm like, wow.

Like, this is Rob Woodson, man. Like, this is it. And I told him, I said, man, I'll break my back out here to get you to this ring. Like, nothing else is more important for me. And then the tunnel. And I came out the tunnel, man, and I did that dance in front of the world. And I used to always quote Gladiator. “When I give the signal, unleash Hell.” I don't know if the Giants was ready for that.

I don't know if they sensed what we were there to do. And I went and looked at every one of them, man, and we walked out down the field. And I was like, not a yard. Not a yard. And I told a couple of those guys, I said, listen. They're not scoring. Not today. Not today. I want to do something no defense in the history of this game has ever done. And that is, we're not giving up no points today.

And we walked out of the champions. And we gave up zero points as a defense. It changed my perspective. It gave me new life to what it meant to be a true, true, true professional. Intense, man, became passion. Passion became a vision, and a vision became our reality because we were that dominant.

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