For really the entire 21st century, there has not been a force in professional football quite like the Baltimore Ravens. Since the 2000 season, only the Patriots have won more Super Bowls, and while the Pats built their franchise around a golden boy quarterback, the Ravens have always been about defense. Terrell Suggs was a pillar of that defense for 16 sizzling years. He joined the squad as a first-round pick in 2003, and by the time he left Baltimore in 2019, his resume included a Defensive Player of the Year award, seven Pro Bowls, the franchise sack record, and a 2012 Super Bowl ring he won just months after tearing his Achilles.
Nowadays, he’s mostly chilling at home in Phoenix. His daughter spends her summers playing for Team Durant and Suggs, who was always one of the scariest dudes on the field, promises he’s not one of those sports parents who’s always yelling at the refs. That gridiron intensity is what made him so beloved in Baltimore, though, and this weekend he will officially become one of the city’s immortals. At halftime of the Ravens’ game against the Lions, all eyes will be on T-Sizzle as his name is added to the Ring of Honor at M&T Bank Stadium. Ahead of the ceremony, Suggs gave us a call.
How did you get the news that you were being inducted into the Ring of Honor?
It was a phone call out of the blue. They was like, “Yeah, um, we just want you to know that we’re going to induct you in the Ring of Honor this year.” I was like, for real? I’m one of those guys that was really humble, you know what I mean? I didn’t expect that call to come. It’s one of those things you hope for, but you’re not really sitting around waiting on a phone call saying you’ll get inducted. Fortunately, mine’s is coming up.
This was never something you thought about when you were playing?
Not at all. As Ravens, we never played for those kinds of accolades or achievements. We played for each other, loved the game, and loved what we were doing. It all just happened to pan out this way. I’m fortunate enough to be branded a Raven for life.
You just never know. You never know who makes those decisions or what they’re thinking or what goes into it. You don’t know! With something that’s not in your hands, you don’t really want to have your mind occupied with it. It was more like, okay! I guess that’s pretty awesome!
What are your favorite memories from M&T Bank Stadium? You’re going to be part of it forever now!
Definitely our battles against the Steelers. Opening day 2011, after they had just knocked us out of the playoffs, that would be my second favorite. But my first is Ray Lewis’ last ride, when we went on the Super Bowl run, when we all came out the tunnel for the last time with each other. That was a playoff game against the Colts.
Did you actually hate the players on the Steelers, or did you just hate them because they were the Steelers and you were the Ravens?
It went hand-in-hand, especially with guys like Hines Ward and James Harrison. We didn’t like them. It wasn’t a hate, like if we saw them on the street we weren’t going to get in a brawl. Nah, it wasn’t that kind of hate. It was a football rivalry. Their flag vs. our flag kind of thing.