Ross says he provided the products free of charge. He even trotted out a novel S.W.A.T.S. technology for the star client: undergarments—black with Lewis's name and number in purple—drenched in pungent menthol liquid that Key and Ross exposed to radio waves. All Ross wanted in return, he told Lewis, is for the future Hall of Famer to tell the truth—that he used S.W.A.T.S. products—when he returned to the field.
On Dec. 5, Lewis practiced for the first time. He did not play in the final regular-season games, but remained a boisterous sideline presence and joined the jubilant locker room celebration after Baltimore routed the Giants 33--14 on Dec. 23 to win the AFC North.
Lewis had not talked to media for 10 weeks while he rehabbed his injury. Asked by SI if he had worked with Key and Ross during his recovery, he initially demurred. "I didn't work with them personally this time," he said.
When pressed, Lewis said, "Nobody helped me out with the rehab. I've been doing S.W.A.T.S. for a couple years through Hue Jackson, that's it. That's my only connection to them."
Asked if he had talked to Ross the night of his injury, Lewis replied, "I told him to send me some more of the regular stuff, the S.W.A.T.S., the stickers or whatever."
And did they help?
"I think a lot of things helped me."
So would he suggest S.W.A.T.S. to other players?
"If I did, I would've done said it by now," Lewis said. Asked specifically about the spray and the pills, Lewis walked away without comment.
It was not quite the resounding endorsement that Ross had prophesied. "I have the growth hormone alternative, the healing alternative," he says. "And it's sitting right here, in Fultondale, Alabama."