Sometimes, life is like the movies, and infrequently, it is better. When the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers take the field on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, for Super Bowl XLVII, the drama associated with playing in the year's most highly-anticipated sporting event will be at an unusually-high level of which no storyteller could have scripted more brilliantly.
For Ray Lewis, retiring Ravens' linebacker, the sequence of events could not have occurred with more precision. He will have the opportunity to join an esteemed group of athletes who captured the pinnacle accomplishment within their sports as the final buzzer sounded on their careers. If the Baltimore Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII, Lewis will join the following superstars that went out on top:
John Elway, NFL quarterback, Denver Broncos - voted MVP in his final NFL appearance, Super Bowl XXXIII, on Jan. 21, 1999.
Bobby Jones, golfer - retired after winning the Grand Slam of 1930, the four major tournaments of the era: the U.S. Open, British Open, U.S. Amateur, and British Amateur.
Rocky Marciano, boxing heavyweight - retired in 1956 with a perfect 49-0-0 record.
Pete Sampras, tennis player- retired as the number one ranked player in the world after winning his fifth U.S. Open, his 14th Grand Slam title, on Sept. 8, 2002.
Ted Williams, Major League Baseball player- hit a home run in the final at-bat of his career on Sept. 28, 1960.
Kickoff for Super Bowl XLVII will be at 6:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb, 3, 2013. Watch live coverage from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on the CBS network or NFL Mobile for Verizon.
Sources: espn.go.com, tampabay.com, nfl.com