When Sports Illustrated broke the deer antler spray story, it was hardly a quantum leap to connect Ray Lewis’ 10-week bionic triceps recovery and PEDs. The story finally broke the underlying surface tension, that Ray Lewis is big and strong and fast and generally freakish and people don’t normally act that way. Naturally, then, steroids.
Whether or not that scandal was even scandal, who knows. But the maybe-scandal did prompt former Cowboys, Jets and Falcons defensive tackle Tony Casillas to reveal truths we knew without knowing: players have always smeared/injected/swallowed whatever pill/serum/remedy to mask the pain. Except back in the 90s, it wasn’t about deer antler spray. No, those were the days of horse ointment.
As told to Elf and Slater on KRLD-FM 105.3, via the Dallas Morning News:
“When I heard about deer antler spray, I said that’s nothing. We used to use this stuff called DMSO. That’s what veterinarians put on horses’ muscles and we used it in the locker room. We had a bottle and you’d take it. It goes right to the blood stream. I’m not sure about this deer antler stuff, but it was prevalent in our locker room. It’s called DMSO. You get it from the veterinarian. It’s an ointment that’s like anti-inflammatory. You put it on your skin and you put it on a muscle, and I guarantee you, in about 30 minutes you’d feel great. If you’re going to talk about the deer antler stuff, we used DMSO and people knew it. Everyone knew about it.”
Anonymous initials for a cure-all drug? Sounds about right, since someone’s always sticking DMSO or EPO or PEDs in their B-U-T-Ts or wherever, and that usually does the trick. And of course everyone knew about it – we always have. Willful ignorance just makes things easier.
Photo via Getty, by Robert Laberge