“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.