Mitch Ross is peddling deer antlers and fairy dust

It never takes long for an event like Super Bowl Week to become a theatre of the absurd, so why should anyone have been surprised to see dozens of reporters crowded around a strange-looking guy in a stocking cap and sleeveless muscle shirt for more than an hour while he delivered a rambling manifesto about his special brand of miracle supplements and therapeudic devices?

That would be Mitch Ross, of course, the guy at the center of the SI.com “deer antler” story a few days ago that made Ray Lewis temporarily divert attention from his “last ride” to deny that he never, ever used any banned performance-enhancing substances.

We’ll have to take Ray at his word for the moment, though Ross’s sidewalk sermon included some juicy details and no one has denied his past association with former Ravens coach Hue Jackson (who has apologized for putting the Ravens in this embarrassing situation). There’s no smoking gun – or gentle hoofbeat, for that matter – so this story will fade into a seedy corner of our collective Super Bowl memory.

But while we’re on the subject, here’s a question for you to ponder: If you were a multi-million-dollar athlete with access to the best medical care in the world and you were offered the sports supplement equivalent of fairy dust, would you eat it?

Unfortunately, for the past 20 years, athletes in just about every big-time sport have answered with a resounding “Yes,” so who knows what to believe.