Knee Surgery

Last year, on December 1, I decided to run, every day Mon-Friday for at least 3 months. It was part of a not-be-fat program that I needed to go on. It worked out really well and I hit new heights of running enjoyment.  The miles also started increasing. I hit over 80 miles run in Jan, Feb, and March.  All was good.

Then, disaster struck. A few weeks ago, I injured my left knee in a soccer match. I couldn’t walk at all and definitely couldn’t run. t went to the doctor about a week after the event and after an MRI, we had this conversation: 

Me: What are my options, doc?

Doc: You don’t have to do anything or your can have surgery

Me: What happens if I don’t do anything?

Doc: Well, it’ll just hurt like it does now and you probably won’t be able to run

Me: For how long?

Doc: Forever

Me: When can I schedule surgery? 

So, I went to get my knee operated on yesterday.  As I was on my way to the hospital, I was pretty nervous as I’ve never has surgery before and I know of people who have had some really bad problems from routine knee operations. Then, I was sent this really great UnderArmor commercial: 

This video inspired me and reminded me as to why I was going under the knife. Being active has become a huge part of how I live my life. I basically played soccer every day of my life for over a decade until I was 22 and since then have been working at at least 3 times a week. The thought of not being able to run or be active is very scary to me. 

Here I am a day after the surgery and it seems to have gone well. I’m still on painkillers, so I don’t really know for sure, but I’m optimistic. I should be back up and running soon.  

The next steps is to do some rehab and get back on the road.  

 My goal is 80 more miles in the month of August. Looking forward to it 

 

2014 Sport Video Roundup

The videos and advertisements for sports flowing through the internets these days have been great.  Wanted to capture and share a few for y’all: 

 

Recently, there was a great new ad lauding Derek Jeter in the final year of his career (although it should be noted that Joe Mauer has posted better stats at age 31 than Jeter did at at 31)

Related to that, there’s a send-up of the above ad by Funny Or Die, not lauding Alex Rodriguez:

For the Timberwolves, I’m all in favor of trading Kevin Love for Wiggins to the Cavaliers.  Speaking of the Cavs, there’s a great mock video of Lebron and his “Coming Home” campaign mashed up with Dumb and Dumber.

Finally, this is over a month old, but the Beats ad for the World Cup was definitely the best one of the summer.  It came out right before the Cup started and got me incredibly pumped for it.  A great ad.

(thanks to Kesner and Matt for sharing these first)

USA vs. Ghana

What a great game yesterday.  After Jozy went down, the US was bad.  Really bad, but escaped with 3 points.  Without the 3 points, the tournament is basically over for them.  

John Brooks scored, soccer fans roared, and minutes later, US 2, Ghana 1 was in the books as a great win. I was sure that Brooks was going to be a disaster, but instead, Brooks, only 21, is a hero.  Nicely done.

Some interesting tidbits from the game:

  1. Here’s a video of a collection of videos from around the world of soccer fans celebrating the Brooks header off the foot of Graham Zusi. 
  2. A cool video fo the tweet volume before and after the goal
  3. John Brooks found his wikipedia entry edited last night right after the game.  Seems a big more accurate now: 
  4. Updated Soccer Power Index odds to advance: Germany 98%, 63% (33% pre-Ghana), Portugal 27%, Ghana 12%.
  5. Some notes i learned about Ghana during the game: 
    1. They were rationing electricity so that everyone in the country could watch the game vs. the US.  (link)
    2. Women in Ghana get 84 days of paid maternity leave (US get zero)
    3. The official language of Ghana is English although the country is divided into small groups that together speak more than 50 languages.
    4. Gold and cocoa are considered a mainstay of their economy

That’s it.  Really looking forward to Sunday’s match against Portugal. 

(thanks to Kesner for some interwebs stuff)

 

 

Open Letter To Bill Simmons – Lebron Can’t Play Soccer

Bill –

Love the column and the podcast – read/listen religiously.

I used to play soccer in college. I’m just stating so you can see i have some credibility to what i’m about to say.

I had to write because one thing is driving me crazy. You and others keep claiming that Lebron James and other NBA stars like Dwight Howard would be amazing on the soccer field. See your recent podcast with Chris Collinsworth (here). These players are incredible athletes but this is just not the case, and anyone who has played soccer would know that if you see a 6′ 8″ guy playing against you, you would be psyched. There is no way, no matter how athletically talented they are, that would be good players. This is due to 2 main reasons: (1) foot size and (2) quickness.

To shoot or hit a long ball well, you need to hit the soccer ball with your instep, which is the top of your foot. People with big feet are notoriously bad at kicking a ball far and accurately. It’s possible, but if you’re huge (over 6’5″) it would be super tough. Quickness is another issue. Being fast on your first 3 steps is so crucial to a soccer player. You see it all the time at the top of the box, where a player is trying to get just a little bit of space to get a shot off. The bigger you are, the less quick you are. Think of Lebron trying to guard the quickest point guards all day. It wouldn’t go that well.

For both of these reasons, if you’re super small and really quick you can be the best player in the world. See Messi and Maradona (both 5’5″-ish). If you’re gigantic, you probably won’t be.

BUT, i do agree with your general idea that if the best players in America played soccer, we’d dominate. In fact, in 2006 i made up the US starting 11 if we had our pick of the best players and they were super fast, strong and quick dudes (Barry Sanders would have been ideal). That post is here

Anyway, please don’t say anymore how good of a soccer player Lebron would be. It drives me nuts.

Thanks and keep on kicking ass –

Mike Lewis

Big Day for US Soccer

The score was 0-0.  The ref raised the sign indicating 4 min of extra time.  The US team has wasted chances all day and all tournament. They played both sloppy defense and potent attacking.  But it was all over.  The US had blown its chance.  It was the easiest group in its history.  I could hear all the naysayers talking on ESPN’s PTI  and other radio shows.  We just suck at soccer.  You couldn’t advance ahead of Slovenia – it’s the size of New Jersey!? You couldn’t beat Algeria?.  The ref system is stupid, when’s the NFL start?.  Tim Howard recalls his though when the 90th minute came, saying:

I just thought the crazy thing is we could be on a plane tomorrow. It didn’t mean anything in the game, but I didn’t want to go home. I was kind of apprehensive about losing.

All the progress US Soccer had made over the past 8 to 20 years with the introduction of an MLS team, a quarterfinal finish in 2002 and the beginning of players playing successfully in Europe would all be for naught with a loss and elimination.  It would be the ultimate disappointment and I could tell the American public would once again sour on the sport.  I would dredding hearing Chuck Klosterman and Tony Kornheiser talk about how we suck and will forever suck at the world’s game.

But then the exact opposite happens.  Three minutes from going home, we score.  A fraction from elimination and we become champions setting a record for the fewest total minutes that a World Cup group winner had been leading in its first three games: a grand total of two minutes.

Not only am i happy to watch the US play this Saturday in the 2nd round but i’m happy for soccer in America.  For the first time since i can remember am i hearing people talk about what an exciting and fun sport it is.  People are beginning to understand why the rest of the world loves it.  This game will directly lead to future successes on the pitch in future World Cups.  There’s an 8 year old right now who wants to score the next huge goal in 2032 and because of today’s victory he’s much more likely to stick with soccer than go to football or basketball.  I couldn’t happier about all of it.  As Landon Donvan said after the game,

I used to see this game we play as just a game,” said Donovan, “and I think I’ve realized particularly during this tournament that it’s more than that. It’s an opportunity to inspire. And not only inspire other people but inspire yourself and your teammates. I think tonight is going to do a lot more for me and other people than maybe we’ll realize.

I completely agree.  Congrats guys.  Good luck on Saturday

I’m SO ready for World Cup

Only 3 weeks away from The World Cup and the excitement inside my brain is building. If you’re not feeling it, watch the following video which is Nike’s three-minute World Cup short film which follows a match featuring the brand’s top footballers and shows how one play can lead to a future of success or failure.

The video, called “Write the Future,” premieres on TV in 32 countries during the UEFA Champions League final on Saturday, but was posted early by Nike on NikeFootball.com. The ad features Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Landon Donovan, Thiago Silva and Ronaldinho (even though he didn’t make Brazil’s World Cup roster), plus cameos by Roger Federer, Kobe Bryant and Homer Simpson.

Alejandro González Iñárritu directed the Nike short and cast his “Amores perros” star Gael García Bernal as Ronaldo. Incredible work overall by the swoosh.

In case that video didn’t get you excited, here’s another short little commercial:

Only 21 days till kick off!

25 Random Things About Me

I got tagged in Facebook to do one of these lists.  I really enjoyed reading some of my colleagues and some of my old friends from high school so i thought i’d put one together.

The rules are that once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged or however many you want. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

Here are my items:

1. I don’t like fruit (with the exception of apples) and i’m happy that my sister’s the same way. It makes me feel less strange.

2. I tend to get around. I’ve been to 49 states and hope to get to the final one, Mississippi, sometime soon.  Since college, I’ve lived in Virginia, New York, Washington DC, Boston (sort of), and now Los Angeles.

3. I have no toenails on my 2 little toes.

4. I was born in NY, then moved to CA, then moved to Texas before i finished my youth in Minnesota.

5. I grew up in Minnesota.  When i moved east in 1996, i felt like a Midwesterner.  I then lived on the east coast for 11 years.  When i moved to California last year, i felt like an Easterner.  After a few years here, who knows who i’ll be.

6. i’ve never broken a bone. I attribute this to my love of milk.

7. I love the extended Lewis Family clan and feel so fortunate that i have such great cousins, aunts and uncles.

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8. When i was younger I used to dress up like a ninja and wonder around in the woods with my brother.

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