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Shutdown Corner

Ray Lewis tells his teammates they are NOT to pose with Lombardi Trophy before Super Bowl

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Ray Lewis with the Lombardi Trophy after Super Bowl XXXV (AP)

Hockey players have a well known superstition: You are not to touch the Stanley Cup until you win it. Doing so supposedly curses you from ever winning the Cup.

It's silly, and not true (we think). But it's a fun tradition that builds the mystique of the best team trophy in sports. And it's tough to argue that it adds just a little bit of incentive towards actually winning the Stanley Cup.

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Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis doesn't seem like much of a hockey fan, but he is certainly living by the Stanley Cup superstition, and even taking it one step further. According to the Ravens' website, when the Lombardi Trophy was at the Ravens facility on Thursday in preparation for Baltimore's trip to play in Super Bowl XLVII, he put out an order: Nobody, under any circumstances, was to pose for a picture with the trophy.

Here's BaltimoreRavens.com staff writer Ryan Mink's account of what happened:

CBS Associate Director Cory Fishman said Ray Lewis laid down an order that nobody was going to be shot with the trophy. Not touching it, not around it, NOTHING.

Lewis later told the network (not these exact words … and believe me, they’re powerful words that you’ll want to tune in to hear) that they hadn’t earned the Lombardi yet. So they didn’t deserve it.

Whether it was fun with superstition or basic motivation by Lewis, his words were heeded. The story says by the middle of the day, the trophy had been put away, replaced by a Ravens helmet. Fishman said it is very rare that a team won't take any pictures with the trophy.

Lewis, who had plenty of time with the trophy when he won it with the Ravens 12 years ago, wants his teammates to stay hungry. They can take all the pictures they want with the trophy if they earn it against the 49ers. And if a new Stanley Cup-like tradition starts out of it, all the better.

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