Ray Lewis took a lot of flak for his deer antler medicine and every one who thought they were a comedian took a shot at him for using it to speed up his rehab for a torn bicep. But while everyone made the rounds with their usually unfunny jokes about the whole incident, it turns out Ray Lewis isn’t the first player to have used a strange substance to help improve his play on the field.
Tony Casillas, who was on the Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl teams in the 1990s, said that the team was using horse medication to avoid injuries and return from them sooner than expected.
“When I heard about deer antler spray, when I heard that, I said, ‘That’s nothing,’” Casillas said. “We used to use this stuff called DMSO. That’s what veterinarians put on horses, on a muscle, so this is stuff that you can rub, and we used it in the locker room. We had a bottle and you’d take it. It goes straight to the bloodstream. And I’m not sure about this deer antler stuff, but, I mean, it was prevalent in our locker room. It’s called DMSO. You get it from the veterinarian and it goes right to the bloodstream. 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 it. It wasn’t on the list. If you’re going to talk about the deer antler stuff, we used DMSO and people knew it. Everyone knew about it.”
Casillas made sure to note that the drug DMSO is not on the NFL’s banned substance list, but did acknowledge that the substance was acquired in a not so proper fashion. The only way to obtain a prescription for DMSO is to get it from a veterinarian with the understanding it will be used on an animal and not a human being.
Technically, the Dallas Cowboys did nothing wrong. But Casillas just served up an excuse for opponents of the Dallas Cowboys dynasty to try and discredit what they accomplished. Was it moral, absolutely not but when you tear off the glossy cover of the NFL, what really is moral about the game?