Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Ray Lewis danced one final time on the M&TBank Stadium turf as the city of Baltimore celebrated the Ravens' victory inSuper Bowl XLVII with a raucous celebration on Tuesday.
An overflow crowd reveled in Sunday's 34-31 victory over the San Francisco49ers in New Orleans, which gave Baltimore its first title of any kind sincethe Ravens routed the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV back in January of2001, with thousands of fans lined throughout the city streets and the stadiumalso showing their appreciation for Lewis as the beloved team icon begins hisretirement after a remarkable 17-year run with the organization.
Quarterback Joe Flacco drew his share of cheers as well for his MVPperformance in Sunday's thrilling win, while safety Ed Reed added a littlesinging to Lewis' trademark "Squirrel Dance" out of the entrance tunnel bybelting out a rendition of Eddie Money's "Two Tickets to Paradise" and leadingthe familiar chorus of the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" during therally.
Still, the main attraction was undoubtedly Lewis, the franchise's mostdecorated and recognizable player and the only remaining member from theRavens' first Super Bowl triumph 12 years ago, as the 37-year-old concludedhis self-termed "last ride."
The two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl XXXV MVP gaveplenty of affection back to the city where he spent his entire pro careerwhile addressing the crowd at the rally.
"There is nothing in the world, there is no place on this earth, that isbetter than Baltimore," Lewis said. "We believed in each other from day one,from 1996 to now.
"The only way on my last ride to pay Baltimore back for everything you did forme and all the support you gave to me, was to bring back the Lombardi Trophyto Baltimore one more time. I love you, Baltimore. Baltimore! Forever mycity."
Reed, an impending free agent with an uncertain future with the team, took thepodium next and took a slight jab at the team the Ravens toppled to claim theLombardi Trophy.
"Who's got it better than who?," he said in a reference to 49ers head coachJim Harbaugh's famed team rallying cry of "Who's got it better than us?"
Harbaugh, of course, is the younger brother of Ravens sideline boss JohnHarbaugh, who wrapped up the festivities by leading the crowd in a team chantafter thanking the fans for their support.
"Our team, I'm talking about all of us, one of the keys was ourdetermination," said Harbaugh. "We played with incredible determination andresolve. And judging by how hard it was to get into this stadium, I would saythat's true about our fans, too. We're on the parade coming down here, andevery cranny, every sidewalk is full. Every opening where it opens up, everygrassy knoll is packed with Ravens fans. They broke down the barriers behindRay Lewis and mobbed the streets, right? They filled the streets.
"The city's going crazy! For the Ravens! The world champion Baltimore Ravens!"
The celebration began shortly before noon ET at City Hall and continued with aparade through the streets until the team reached M&T Bank Stadium.