The inspirational words of Ray Lewis extend beyond the football field.
Michael Phelps recently told the Baltimore Sun that he credits the Baltimore Ravens linebacker with helping him work through his post-Beijing doldrums to rediscover his love of swimming.
"Someone who helped me find the passion back was Ray Lewis," Phelps said this spring. "He's been able to help me kind of just find me."
Phelps, a Baltimore native, attends a number of Ravens games per year and has struck up a friendship with the team's longtime leader.
"His words are so powerful," Phelps told the Sun. "It's what friends are for."
It's too bad the Olympics are during NFL training camp. How amazing would it have been to see Ray Lewis in London, strutting around Michael Phelps in the sit room and yelling/repeating lines, while other competitors looked on in confusion.
"Do this, Michael. DO THIS. It's you. It's you. It's only you. Go out and show them that this is your moment. Your moment in time. This moment! This one! It's not his. Or his. Or his. It's yours. You hear me, man? Beat that man beside you. Do what you're supposed to do out there. Somebody gonna feel like a champion today and that somebody's gonna be you. DO IT, BABY. [Lewis head butts Phelps to psych him up and accidentally knocks him unconscious.]"
OK, maybe it's best that Lewis will be watching from afar. Text-message pep talks still work, right?