Boomer Esiason is not a big fan of Ray Lewis.
That much was made known during CBS’ Super Bowl XLVII pregame show.
After the network aired a pre-recorded interview with Lewis that was conducted by Shannon Sharpe, Boomer’s colleague and Ray’s former teammate, Esiason expressed his skepticism of the now-retired Baltimore Ravens linebacker, who will soon join him in the sports broadcasting field.
At one point during the piece, Lewis blamed “our system” for not being effective in prevailing with “the bottom line truth” of the murder case that the player was involved with in 2000.
“I’m not so sure that I buy the answer,” Esiason commented. “He was involved in a double murder… He knows what went on there. And he can obviously come out and say it, but he doesn’t want to say it; he paid off the families.”
As CBS would show Lewis giving his Ravens teammates one final pregame pep talk – the Ravens would go on to upend the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31 – Esiason once again took a potshot at him. “I’m getting sick and tired of Ray Lewis,” he was quoted as saying. “This is not the Ray Lewis show.”
The next morning, a caller had brought up Esiason’s being fired up about Lewis (to borrow a quote from Lewis himself) on WFAN/New York’s “Boomer & Carton” morning show.
“Marino’s not going to say anything, Bill Cowher’s not going to say anything, and I get it,” Esiason said. “I’m there in the end; somebody has to say something.”
And sure enough, Boomer lowered the boom.
“I said to Shannon, ‘I appreciate you asking him a direct question’… And I understand the difficulties that a former teammate might have in that situation. and I know why Shannon went there, because Shannon has a great friendship with Ray Lewis; they spent time together this week in Ray’s hotel room.” And it was during that time that the “deer antler spray” allegations emerged, but “that’s a whole ‘nother issue… We only have two minutes to discuss these things.
“These guys are coming back from injuries quicker than anybody in the history of sports.”
At that point, Esiason’s radio colleague, Craig Carton, reminded listeners that Lewis recalled doctors telling him that his particular injury was one that no player has ever overcome in order to continue his career.
“Now, Ray Lewis is going to want to tell us that this is God’s plan,” Esiason shot back.
I guess it’s a good thing it wasn’t in God’s plan for Ray Lewis to join CBS Sports. Those pre-show meetings would be awkward.