What’s next, Big Foot Spray?
All we know for sure right now is that Ray Lewis, the legendary linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, has recovered from torn triceps in order to lead his franchise to its first Super Bowl berth since 2000. The heart and soul of the team was supposed to have needed a full year to recover, but instead was back on the playing field in a matter months.
And he has not been playing in limited minutes or basically just acting as a cheerleader for the guys that can actually play. Lewis, with his hoots, hollers, tears, ultra-scary facemask and an elbow guard that could deflect bullets, has been out on the field of battle, fighting for everything he can in his final few games before retiring from the game he so loves. He has been tearing his heart for the chance for one more victory. For one more shot at Super Bowl glory, and for eternal athletic greatness.
But at what cost?
After learning of his torn muscle, Lewis was recorded on a phone call with one of the owners of a company called Sports with Alternatives to Steroids, or S.W.A.T.S., Mitch Ross.
According to Sports Illustrated, Ross and co-owner Christopher Key have worked to develop methods of treatment that will provide any athlete with a serious edge without the use of steroids.
S.W.A.T.S. is an edgy sports science company run by a gym owner/former stripper. The company specializes in holographic stickers, deer-antler pills, and other, um, progressive means of enhancing a player’s performance.
Thus, when Lewis went down with his injury, he sought out the company in an effort to get back to the playing field without taking any illegal substances.
Ross prescribed a deluxe program, including holographic stickers on the right elbow; copious quantities of the powder additive; sleeping in front of a beam-ray light programmed with frequencies for tissue regeneration and pain relief; drinking negatively charged water; a 10-per-day regimen of the deer-antler pills that will “rebuild your brain via your small intestines” (and which Lewis said he hadn’t been taking, then swallowed four during the conversation); and spritzes of deer-antler velvet extract (the Ultimate Spray) every two hours.
“Spray on my elbow every two hours?” Lewis asked.
“No,” Ross said, “under your tongue.”
Toward the end of the talk, Lewis asked Ross to “just pile me up and just send me everything you got, because I got to get back on this this week.”
The deer antler spray is supposed to contain IGF-1, or insulin growth factor, and a derivative of human growth hormone, HGH. Both HGH and IFG-1 are banned substances in every major sporting organization across the world, and that includes the NFL.
S.W.A.T.S. might be advertising an alternative, but what seems to be the case is that the supplements are either totally worthless at best or actual steroids at worst.
What about S.W.A.T.S.’s other products? The deer-antler spray does contain IGF-1, though in small quantities, and deer IGF-1 may not even work in humans. No such thing as negatively charged water exists, according to Stephen Lower, an emeritus chemistry professor at Canada’s Simon Fraser University who has lectured on the structure of water. The idea that hologram stickers or deer-antler extract will encode radio waves emitted near them defies basic physics. In tests at his lab at the NYU Polytechnic Institute, radio frequency expert and electrical engineering professor Michael Knox showed SIthat the hologram chips did not alter the frequencies transmitted by a cell-phone at all. (As far as interfering with a cellphone signal, the antistatic bag that the chips came in was more effective than the chips themselves.) Knox also determined that the glue adhesive on the back of the chips acts as an insulator, preventing any transmission between the chips and the skin. His conclusion: “They appear to be just stickers.”
So, basically, it sounds like Ray Lewis wanted to cheat. It sounds like, based on the recorded phone calls of a dishonest, disreputable fly-by-night sales team claiming the role of ‘scientist’, Lewis was duped into thinking all sorts of holographic chips and deer spray were going to help the man heal faster.
They didn’t. Hard work and we can assume to be an extremely healthy diet, in all likelihood, combined to do the trick.
But it sounds like Lewis was willing to do whatever it took to get himself back onto the football field as quickly as possible. He can probably go ahead and ask Lance Armstrong what the American people think of men with such a mindset.
It remains to be seen whether or not Lewis’ decision-making will keep him out of Super Bowl XLVII, and keep him from his quest for greatness.
No matter what happens, at least he got some sweet stickers out of the deal.