“A deal gone bad” — Here’s what I think the Ray Lewis deer-antler story is all about

January 30, 2013 | Drew Forrester

I have no idea if Ray Lewis recovered from his triceps injury because of his affliliation with S.W.A.T.S.

If it’s true that Ray called Mitch Ross on the night of October 14, just hours after his injury in the game against the Cowboys, then that’s clearly a red flag.  Why else would Lewis call Ross if he didn’t think S.W.A.T.S. could help?

It’s also very reasonable to think that if such a call occurred it wouldn’t be out of the question that Lewis would say to Ross, “Just send me whatever you have that you think can help…”  And then, when he received that package, Ray would turn it over to the medical folks with the Ravens and say, “Look through this stuff and make sure none of it gets me in hot water with the NFL, because I don’t need that hassle.”

That package could have easily contained some cans of deer-antler spray that Lewis didn’t specifically ask for, but received anyway.

And, to be fair, that package could contain the spray because perhaps Ray did tell Ross he wanted it specifically and WAS willing to use it — and asked for it in his conversation with Ross.

My guess, though, is that this whole thing is about a guy (an admitted former steroid user, by the way) who runs a company who thought he had a deal with Ray Lewis and it somehow fell apart at the moment of truth.

That’s what I think.

I don’t know if Ray Lewis used deer antler spray, but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if he did, because football players will do just about anything to play in the next football game.

That said, I take Lewis at his word when he says, “I didn’t take that stuff”, alluding to the deer-antler spray that contains the banned substance.

And, as the SI.Com article indicates, Mitch Ross wanted free publicity for his company and expected Ray Lewis to assume the role of gratis endorser in exchange for not having to fork over $10,000 or more for the products.

When that endorsement or public proclamation didn’t come from Lewis, Ross got pissed off and threw Ray to the wolves.  He did so knowing the sort of media frenzy it would cause this week.  And he likely did it with SI.Com because he knew they could deliver the biggest bang for his buck, or the bucks he lost by not charging Lewis for any S.W.A.T.S. products he used.

It’s one of the ugly sides of sports.

And even though I don’t officially know what happened, I think I can make a pretty good guess based on what both Ross and Lewis have said as part of the SI.Com article.




10 Comments For This Post

  1. Jason Manelli Says:

    Deer antler spray? Good lord…why Ray would even call this snake oil peddler is beyond me. I wonder if he sent along some magic beans as well?

  2. sal Says:

    drew you suck go os

  3. matt Says:

    to jason: 2 1/2 months instead of 6. something worked

    to drew: i heard mitch ross paraphrase the taped conversation and that is pretty much what ray said “send me anything that will help”. no specifics

    and from how ray responded to the reporter first asking the question, you seem pretty dead on about how ray was supposed to prop up SWATS and didnt.

  4. BmoreBobRob Says:

    Pro FB players get so beat up does it really matter what they do to recover from injury?

    I heard from a reliable source that he found an old You Pon coupon and decided to buy the Deer Antler Spray from the company in Fla.

  5. Brian Says:

    If that’s how it played out and Lewis didn’t hold up his end of the bargain, shame on him.

  6. unitastoberry Says:

    Happy Birthday Drew

  7. tsnamm Says:

    I can’t imagine how this company thinks by spilling the beans on Ray, that any athelete will bother to do any business with them…bad job all around…

  8. Justafan Says:

    Oh! I just remembered that there is a football game Sunday. Did you forget?

  9. Chuck Says:


    Good work on this story.

    Unlike Lewis, Vijay Singh has handled this matter very intelligently. He admitted to using IGF-1 by accident. Singh indicated that he knew IGF-1 was banned by the PGA, but didn’t realize it existed in the product he was taking, the same product Lewis was taking. And Singh, like Lewis, never tested positive for the PED. Singh stated that he expects to be suspended by the PGA.

    By just getting it out there and admitting to using a banned substance by accident Singh has smartly difused the matter. With Lewis so adamantly going into Lance Armstrong-mode denial (with full support of the Ravens) despite evidence that he probably took a banned substance, Lewis and the Ravens are almost inviting greater scrutiny. And even though Lewis will be long gone, other Ravens not retiring have earned a reputation for defying all reasonable estimates for returning from serious injury.

    This thing is only beginning. I suspect that at some point this will all take on a life of its own. We’ve seen this movie before. And since the NFL has no way of testing certain banned drugs, our friends in Congress are likely to investigate as they did with MLB. And some former Senator or Governor with gravitas will lead an investigation as was done with the Mitchell Report. Lewis’ reputation and prospects for the HOF could go the way of Bonds and Clemens. Perhaps more importantly, other players that used the services of SWATS will be brought to light.

  10. The Armchair QB Says:

    Much ado about nothing! Not just coincidental that this guy chooses to break the story now! Anything for a…..buck! No pun intended! Anyway, if there is one thing this team thrives on, it’s this type of adverse publicity, which will provide aditional incentive for them to win the Super Bowl, which I predict they will do….handily!

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