#18: Ring of Honor
Nov. 26, 2000
How it happened: On the above date, the Ravens announced the name of the first player to be inducted into the team’s new Ring of Honor and there is no doubt that running back Earnest Byner was a great football player. Three times in his career he rushed for more than 1,000 yards in a season. Whether he deserved to be the first player inducted into the Ravens’ Ring of Honor—the ceremony actually took place in 2001—is another question. Byner played two unremarkable seasons in Baltimore and seems to have been selected for his body of work as a Cleveland Brown, which, frankly, we don’t give a damn about.
That said, we love the Ring of Honor.
The Ravens made things right the next season when the team inducted quarterback Johnny Unitas (who also got an awesome statue) and seven of his Hall of Fame Baltimore teammates— receiver Raymond Berry, running back Lenny Moore, defensive tackle Art Donovan, defensive end Gino Marchetti, tight end John Mackey, offensive tackle Jim Parker and linebacker Ted Hendricks—into the Ring of Honor in front of a sellout crowd.
Since then, we’ve seen the likes of Art Modell, Michael McCrary, Peter Boulware, Jonathan Ogden, Matt Stover, Jamal Lewis, Ray Lewis (another awesome statue) and Todd Heap—all deserving—go into the Ring of Honor. Now, we’re looking forward to one of the best and most exciting football players ever, in any uniform, joining that gang of all-time greats during halftime of the Nov. 22 game versus St. Louis. Yes, Ed Reed. Do we miss that guy or what?