Now, the ongoing feud is even more personal as Owens brought up Lewis'
double-murder trial during his weekly press conference Wednesday and accused the
standout defender of having padded tackle statistics.
"You have a guy like Ray Lewis who I thought he was pretty much my friend. This is a guy, double-murder case and he could have been in jail, but it seems like the league embraces a guy like that," said Owens, whose trade to Baltimore was nullified in a settlement seven months ago. "I'm going out scoring touchdowns and having fun and I'm the bad guy. So, I don't understand it. I really don't."
Prosecutors ultimately dropped murder charges against Lewis in Atlanta in 2000, and last year's NFL Defensive Player of the Year pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice.
Lewis declined an interview request after practice, saying, "No way," when asked to respond to Owens' remarks. He called Owens a coward on Sunday.
"Like the rest of the NFL community, we would expect nothing less from Terrell Owens," said Kevin Byrne, the Ravens' senior vice president of public and community relations.
Owens has a history of offending people and then verbally kicking them when they're down.
He derided Cleveland Browns quarterback Jeff Garcia for his lack of arm strength and made allusions about his former teammate's sexual preference. He has also orchestrated controversial celebrations, including the Sharpie incident, dancing on the Dallas Cowboys' star and borrowing pom-poms from a San Francisco 49ers cheerleader.
"Before my grandfather passed, he used to tell me imitation is the greatest form of flattery," Lewis said regarding Owens doing his dance. "The guy is comedy. My 4-year-old does it like that. He didn't get it right. It's got a little rhythm to it. You can't force that dance. That dance is graceful."
Lewis added that he would continue to do the dance, which is called 'The Squirrel,' during pregame introductions.
Owens said he wasn't surprised that people have problems with his look-at-me displays.
"No, all I can really narrow it down to is that they don't like me," Owens said. "Like Joey Porter said, you have a guy like Ray Lewis who has had some problems off the field and he comes back and the league embraces him.
"He makes tackles and gets up and does his thing. He probably gets credited for tackles that he doesn't even make just for the simple fact that he gets in on a tackle and he does his thing. For whatever reason, they just don't like me."
Aaron Wilson writes for ravensinsider.com and the Carroll County Times