Michael Lewis (wide receiver)
Lewis in 2007 with the 49ers
New Orleans Saints
|Date of birth:November 14, 1971|
|Place of birth: New Orleans, Louisiana|
|High school: Metairie (LA) Grace King|
|Undrafted in 2000|
|Debuted in 1998 for the Louisiana Bayou Beast|
|Last played in 2007 for the San Francisco 49ers|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Michael Lee Lewis (born November 14, 1971) is a former American football wide receiver and return specialist who is currently the team ambassador of the New Orleans Saints. He was signed by the Louisiana Bayou Beast in 1998. He did not play college football.
In 2000, he was a former Budweiser beer truck driver (thus, the nickname "Beer Man") who never went to college, and waded through the various semi-professional football leagues, pro indoor leagues, and the Arena Football League.
Finally, he was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles during the preseason in 2000. He was cut before the regular season began.
New Orleans Saints
Michael returned to his hometown to deliver beer locally. But, at the end of the 2000 NFL regular season the New Orleans Saints gave him a chance by signing him. Then the Saints sent him over to play for the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe in 2001.
Lewis was the feature return specialist for the Saints from 2002 until September 19, 2005 during a game against the New York Giants at the Meadowlands, where he injured his MCL and was put on injured reserve for the rest of the season. He returned to playing for the Saints a year later on October 29, 2006 during a home game against the Baltimore Ravens.
In 2002, Lewis set an NFL record for combined kick-punt return yardage with 2,432 yards total (1,807 kickoff, 625 punt). He is currently the Saints' all-time career leader in punt returns (142) and punt return yardage (1,482).
On December 21, 2003, he also played a role in the River City Relay as one of the receivers that would lateral a touchdown in a last second attempt to win the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars (in which the Saints lost). The River City Relay won an ESPY, NFL play of the year, and an ESPN.com internet poll.
In April 2006 Lewis returned to the Saints for a shot at one last season after a rehabilitating his knee injury.
On June 15, 2007 the Saints released him. The local New Orleans newspaper, the Times-Picayune, titled the news, "There's a Tear in My Beer" because he was a local inspiration, going from beer truck driver to NFL star.
San Francisco 49ers
On September 25, 2007, Lewis was signed by the San Francisco 49ers to take over punt return duties. The incumbent punt returner, Brandon Williams, was released.
New Orleans VooDoo
Lewis signed a contract with the New Orleans VooDoo on October 10, 2008. Team officials were preparing to make the announcement the following week, but the owner (Tom Benson, also the owner of the New Orleans Saints) decided to terminate operations on October 13, 2008.
Lewis subsequently took a position as a "Team Ambassador" for the Saints. Although no longer playing, Lewis was awarded a Super Bowl ring after the Saints won Super Bowl XLIV in recognition of his continuing role with the team.
Awards and honors
- 2011 American Football Association Semi Pro Hall of Fame
- 2004 NFC Special Teams Player of the Week (Week 16)
- 2002 NFL Pro Bowl
- Associated Press First Team All-Pro
- 2002 NFC Special Teams Player of the Week (Week 6)
- NFL Alumni Special Teams Player of the Year
- Sports Illustrated All-Pro
- College & Pro Football Newsweekly First Team All-Pro
- Pro Football Weekly All-NFL and All-NFC
- Football Digest First Team All-Pro
- The Sporting News All-Pro
- 2000 AFL All-Rookie Team
- 1998 PIFL All-Star 1st Team
- Krysten Oliphant "Michael Lewis reveling in new job with Saints", Monroe News-Star, July 9, 2010.
- "Michael Lewis". San Francisco 49ers. Archived from the original on May 22, 2008.
- CNNSI.com - 2001 NFL Preview - Hey, beer man! Lewis the toast of Saints' camp - Wednesday August 15, 2001 07:26 PM
- ESPN - 'Beer Man' Lewis on tap for Saints-Ravens game - NFL
- NFL Players
- New Orleans Saints - 404
- ESPN - KR Lewis, DE Whitehead cut by Saints - NFL
- Official Site of the San Francisco 49ers - PR News
- NOLA.com - VooDoo terminates operations
- Elicia Broussard, "Michael Lewis is Still Delivering", NewOrleansSaints.com, April 24, 2009 (retrieved May 11, 2009).
- American Football Association
- NFL Pro Bowler Michael Lewis Selected for Induction Into Semi-Pro Football Hall Of Fame - “Class Of 2011"
- San Francisco 49ers bio