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Article posted: 2/1/2013 5:29 AM

Lewis a newsmaker on and off the field


I wrote a column recently stating the virtues of Ray Lewis -- the football player.

I even put him in the team photo with a Chicago Bears great, Dick Butkus, as one of the greatest middle linebackers of all time.

Today, Butkus is battling steroid use in high school sports with his "I Play Clean" campaign. His goal is to ensure the high school sports scene stays free of illegal pharmaceuticals.

Butkus must be disgusted to know that the face of the Baltimore Ravens -- Lewis -- is being accused of using a banned substance called IGF-1. It's found in deer-antlers spray, which he allegedly used to heal a torn tricep.

Does it surprise me? Not really, because he came back early when most experts thought his career was over.

The affable Lewis, however, was on the podium saying it's not true, and that he has passed every drug test given by the NFL.

Well, so did Lance Armstrong, Ray. The "I passed every drug test" alibi is over forever. Besides the NFL has informed us there is no test for this substance.

Sports Illustrated will be out with the complete article in its Feb. 4 edition, and there are videotape recordings of Lewis with Mitch Ross, co-owner of SWATS (Sports With Alternatives To Steroids), the company that reportedly supplied the spray.

Things had been going great for Lewis, and he has walked a straight line since his involvement in a double murder in Atlanta in 2000. Lewis did plead guilty to obstruction of justice in that case, but charges of murder and aggravated assault were dropped after Lewis agreed to testify against two co-defendants.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Lewis after the Super Bowl.

For 17 years, he has brought it on the football field, but question marks will still exist off the field. There are people bothered the double murder has never been solved, and they believe Lewis knows more than he has said.

Meanwhile, ESPN can't wait to bring him on TV next year as a contributor.

Now that's credibility, for you. The company that asked Brent Musburger to apologize to Catherine Webb for commenting on her beauty will now present us with Mr. Lewis and his questionable baggage.

I might be wrong, but I would guess that after the Super Bowl, America won't be looking forward to more of Ray Lewis.

NFL pick:

Here's my Super Bowl pick for Sunday: San Francisco 24, Baltimore 19.

Program notes:

Jay Mohr will broadcast live from the Score LV in the Luxor Hotel from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. CST. I will also be doing my Fox Sports radio show there from 6-9 p.m. Saturday and again on Sunday right after the Super Bowl ends until midnight. Catch us on Fox sportsradio.com, XM 169 or iHeart radio.

Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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