You might know him as the man who lit up David Boston during the iconic 1997 match-up against Ohio State that would lead to a Big Ten championship and ticket to the National Championship game. That moment has been dubbed “The Boston Massacre”. An image that has forever been frozen in time in the form of a Sports Illustrated cover in December, 1997 (pictured left).
But, do you know the real Marcus Ray? This Q & A session will focus on the man underneath the pads.
Q: It’s pretty clear that you are not a fan of that school in Ohio. What would you consider your greatest or fondest memory of the rivalry between Michigan and Ohio as a player?
A: Well, I have two fondest memories. The first one was from the 1996 game versus o$u. Joe Germaine threw a Hail Mary and I intercepted it and ran to the o$u bench and slid in front of John Cooper. I stood up and said, “This is my house!” I got that from Deion Sanders when he returned to Atlanta as a Cowboy. The second would be the Sports Illustrated cover picture of the Boston Massacre. I told my friends I was going be on the cover when we were in High School, but I thought it was going to be for basketball. But, David Boston and I had a lot of personal “beef” on and off the field, so it felt good to knock him out on the way to winning a national title
Q: Welcome 2 The Big House was a very entertaining diss song, what inspired you to create a rap?
A: Welcome 2 The Big House!!! That’s my jam!! Tell everyone to go to iTunes and download it! And if you have an iPhone, buy the Ringtone! Back in 2002 when o$u won the national title, there was a song called “Buckeye City” getting a lot of play on the airwaves. Buckeye City was recorded and performed by my friend Damon Wright, aka Relm Diggy. There was a lyric that said, “Maurice the beast with Wolverines under his cleats,” that line had me very upset. So I went into the studio and wrote Welcome 2 The Big House in 3 hours. I recorded it once, and then there was battle on the radio between Buckeye City and Welcome 2 The Big House. Well, I went back in the studio and remade my song. Then I finally put it out on YouTube and iTunes this year..
Q: Give me your thoughts on Rich Rodriguez and his time with the Wolverines. It was very apparent that his hiring created a division between donors and former players who either agreed or disagreed with the hiring. Where did you stand?
A: Rich Rodriguez is a great coach. That’s why he landed on his feet at Arizona. He came to Michigan at a bad time. Lloyd was retiring, o$u was dominant and the talent cupboard was bare. Life is all about timing, even in sports. I believe I could have helped Rich Rod with those defensive backs, but he never gave me a shot. I really didn’t know Rich Rod enough to have any type of feelings toward him either way. My problem was with the people who wanted Rich Rod to lose, but claim they love Michigan. We all have or had our pick or favored person to be the coach, but at the end of the day, we all have to support whoever is sitting in the chair.
Q: You are very familiar with Brady Hoke, did you expect him and his staff to take the team back to national prominence so soon?
A: I’m very familiar with Hoke, Mattison, Fred Jackson and Mark Smith. I love those guys. Hoke is an outstanding coach, he was on the staff when I played at Michigan. Greg Mattison recruited me out of Columbus. Fred Jackson has been a lifer and a positive influence over the years. Mark Smith and I worked the Michigan football camp together for years, he is a great guy. I’m not surprised by the turnaround and success. It was time for Michigan to get it together. All about timing.
Q: Let’s get to know the real Marcus Ray that most people won’t know. What is your favorite food? What do you like to do with your spare time? What is one hidden talent you have that most would never guess you had? What is one animal that best describes you?
A: Man, wow. My favorite food is…. CRABLEGS! Those are number one on my list. But my number two food has to be Pringles with French Onion dip! I’m addicted to it.. But I’m back in the gym getting back to my 1997 figure so Ive backed off the Pringles. I spend my time on the internet. I don’t watch television unless there is a game on that I am interested in. I’m always writing or listening to music. Hidden talent? Cooking. I can COOK my tail off. Especially breakfast. I am the best short order cook in the game! Animal? Probably a bat. Because no one can hang with me even if they were upside down!
Q: Speaking of hidden talents, you have a book out “Rays of Light” and are expecting volume 2 to be released in February. What inspired you to sit down and compile these inspirational thoughts into book form?
A: I love word play. I believe every experience we have and everything we do in our lives is interrelated and interconnected. There is one universal process to everything. Everything we do has the same abstract process. Driving your car is no different than making a sandwich. You have to do this, before you do that! And since everything begins with thought, it proves we all draw energy from and create all things in our mind. The game is to be sold, not told. I wanted to put my thoughts on paper and give people another perspective to consider when it comes to how we live life. Look with your eyes, but see with your mind. I have an interesting perspective on life, even though I have made my fair share of poor choices. Everyday is a new day. The day you think you know everything is the day you stop learning.. Rays of Light Volume 2 “Truth is Light” will release in February or March 2012. 2012 will be a landmark year for the Rays of Light movement.