|Position: Team ambassador|
Height 1.73 m
Weight 78 kg
Career start 2000
Name Michael Lewis
Education Grace King High School
|Date of birth: (1971-11-14) November 14, 1971 (age 44)|
Role American football wide receiver
Number 84 (San Francisco 49ers / Wide receiver)
Similar People Deuce McAllister, Aaron Brooks, Jerome Pathon, Donte Stallworth
Place of birth: New Orleans, Louisiana
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.
- Early years
- Early career
- Philadelphia Eagles
- New Orleans Saints
- San Francisco 49ers
- New Orleans VooDoo
- Post retirement
- Career statistics
- Awards and honors
Lewis was also a member of the New Orleans Thunder, New Jersey Red Dogs, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans VooDoo.
Lewis graduated from Grace King High School in Metairie, Louisiana in 1990.
In 2000, he was a former Budweiser beer truck driver (thus, the nickname "Beer Man") who never went to college because he started his family really young, and the truck route was a short distance away from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 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
Lewis 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 rehabilitating from 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. In 2015 Lewis was selected for the Saints Hall of Fame.