As I walked out of the Super Bowl Media Center on Friday, I cam across a mass of reporters on the sidewalk, all surrounding someone who seemed to be speaking intently. It took me a moment to figure out that it was Mitch Ross, maker of the deer antler spray that suddenly became the source of controversy this week when Sports Illustrated reported that Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis used it — and that it contains a banned substance.
I couldn’t get close enough to hear what Ross was saying at his impromptu press conference, and anyway he struck me as the kind of guy I should stay far away from, but Ross has certainly managed to draw a lot of attention to himself and his product. On Friday night and Saturday morning, dozens of media outlets reported on Ross’s claim. And for a huckster like Ross, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
Most of the media outlets that have covered Ross have scoffed at his claims. The one that has been most repeated is when he told reporters, “Now I’m going to blow your mind, you have two brains.” And at least one NFL player, Giants punter Steve Weatherford, has angrily denied Ross’s claims that he’s a client.
But Ross is also getting some good publicity, including from former NFL fullback and current NFL Network analyst Heath Evans, who told WEEI he uses deer antler spray and it has helped him mentally, to focus and concentrate.
If that kind of publicity helps Ross sell his product, then this has been a successful Super Bowl week for him. Even if his 15 minutes of fame are almost up.