CHRIS ERSKINE / FAN OF THE HOUSE

There's one sure Super Bowl bet: Spectacle will give way to sadness

Deer antler spray? Now I know what I want for Valentine's Day.

According to Sports Illustrated, Ray Lewis squirted the stuff under his tongue every two hours while rushing to recover from a torn triceps.

Call it Bambi-gate.

SI quoted Christopher Key, one of the owners of a company that makes the stuff, as telling Alabama players before last year's Bowl Championship Series title game:

"We have deer that we harvest in New Zealand. Their antlers are the fastest-growing substance on planet Earth … because of the high concentration of IGF-1. We've been able to freeze dry that out, extract it, put it in a sublingual spray that you shake 20 seconds and then spray three [times] under your tongue. The stuff has been around for almost 1,000 years, this is stuff from the Chinese."

He had me at "sublingual spray."

::

Measure my life not by birthdays, or even in the chalk marks on my cellblock wall. Measure it in football seasons.

When a season ends, as this one is about to, it leaves me a little sad and aimless. Seven months is too long between seasons.

Life is all about anticipation, and since August, there has always been something to look forward to each weekend.

Now all the networks have to pimp is the next golf tournament, which is to football what Nicki Minaj is to Audrey Hepburn, what cold rain is to hot gumbo, what grape Jell-O is to fine wine.

Till then, we have this Super Bowl, a national celebration second only to Christmas.

Here's my novelty bet: The over-under on the number of chicken wings you'll eat is 20. (I like to dip mine in antler spray.)

Go ahead and party up Sunday, because the next time you'll see many of these people — friends, family, barmaids, your arresting officer — will be late summer.

The end of football season is like the start of our sports Lent. After Sunday, Americans all head off to remodel their basements.

Which is, I'll wager, still far better than watching golf.

chris.erskine@latimes.com

twitter.com/erskinetimes
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