You mention the St. Louis Cardinals frequently in your blog posts. Why did you like working with them so much? or Why do you like them so much?
I can’t say enough good things about the St. Louis Cardinals. I had heard when I got my sports medicine fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis about how much the city of St. Louis loves baseball and loves its Cardinals. It really is amazing how intelligent the Cardinals’ fans are about baseball, much more so than I have seen any other place. Cardinals baseball is a way of life in St. Louis. People there talk about baseball year round, and that makes it really special.
On top of that, working with the team was a fantastic experience. It is such a great organization. Everyone there treated me well, and they treat the players very well. Most of the Cardinals players will tell you that playing in St. Louis and for the Cardinals is a better experience than almost any major league team or organization. They often take much less money to play in St. Louis than for another organization.
And finally, I will tell anyone who will listen that Spring Training in Jupiter, Florida in February and March with the St. Louis Cardinals is truly heaven on earth. Blue skies, mid-70’s temperatures, watching major league baseball games, players signing autographs, taking pictures with kids, watching the pitchers throw and the players doing field drills… It really is as good an experience as there is in sports.
You write a lot about NBA players in your Breaking News section. Are you a big NBA fan?
I’ve become an NBA fan in the last few years. As I said in Part 1 of this post, I grew up a college basketball fan. I went to Wake Forest, which was good in basketball then. Maybe if Wake was good in basketball now, I would still be a college fan.
For some reason though, I have really gotten more interested in the NBA. For one thing, I would argue that the quality of play is as high now as it has been at any point in my lifetime, even in the Michael Jordan years. And the level of play far surpasses college basketball, almost rendering the college game unwatchable for me. Having the TV package to watch every game certainly helps expose the NBA to me. Being that I was at Wake Forest when Tim Duncan was there, I am a San Antonio Spurs fan, so I mainly watch their games. I will say that in my time during my residency in Memphis, I did have season tickets to the Memphis Grizzlies. I saw firsthand that the NBA experience is different than anything else I’ve been around from a spectator standpoint. What can I say? I like the NBA.
If you could watch one sporting event, what would it be?
Hands down I want more than anything to go to Anfield and see Liverpool play a Premier League match. For some reason during high school and early college I became a Liverpool soccer fan. Since then I followed the Reds mainly on the Internet until Premier League matches started to be shown in the United States in the last year or two. I have about 20 Liverpool t-shirts, and I can recite the lyrics to the team’s anthem, You’ll Never Walk Alone, by heart. I think it would be an amazing experience to see a match live in that legendary stadium watching my favorite soccer team.
You’ve mentioned in a recent post that you have taken up boxing? What’s that all about?
Dr. Mark Barry, the MUSC Sports Medicine dental consult, who made my custom mouthguard for boxing, asked me before I started, “Are you sure you want to do this?” (Actually I’m more worried about a hand injury.)
I really enjoy boxing. I work one-on-one with a coach once or twice a week for about an hour at a time and practice on my own once or twice a week. I really have no intention of fighting, but I wanted to learn the sport for its discipline and technique more than anything. I had no idea how hard it is. Just learning the footwork is difficult, but I’m getting a lot better. My coach refers to me as Frankie Randall. I don’t think it’s as much due to my fighting style as the fact that Randall was nicknamed, “The Surgeon.”
Plus it’s fantastic workout. I’ve lifted weights since my senior year in high school and still do. And I have tried a number of other programs, including P90X (which I loved and made me ripped) and Insanity (which injured my ankle). I like variety, and I like to work hard with exercise. I really enjoy boxing, and I would recommend it to anyone.
I’ve heard rumors about you listening to rap music in the operating room…
Yes it’s true what people say about Room 7 in Rutledge Tower. We do listen to rap and hip hop in the OR. It’s mainly my decision, but Melissa, Heather, and Diana (our orthopaedic OR nurses) like it too. We think that it adds energy to the room and makes our day more enjoyable. I actually like rap, and I often listen to it when I lift weights. As strange as it might seem that I would listen to rap music in the operating room, readers might find it interesting that I listen to jazz music while blogging. For some reason, I’m more efficient and can concentrate better listening to jazz. Of course, a lot of the time while pounding away on my laptop, I have the NBA or baseball on my TV in the background instead.
You mentioned that you spoke recently in Big Sky, Montana. Where is the best place you have ever given a talk or presentation?
I would have to say Napa Valley. One of the best aspects about frequently speaking at conferences and meetings is the opportunity to talk to groups in other parts of the country. I’ve been fortunate to be offered opportunities to speak in a number of great locations, including Puerto Rico, San Diego, Toronto, Washington, DC, Big Sky, and even on a Caribbean cruise. But in terms of the overall experience, I would have to say Napa Valley was my favorite.
Who are your favorite athletes to treat?
I’m not sure that there is a particular sport whose athletes I enjoy treating more than others. I guess I might say soccer players or baseball players, but I enjoy working with people who participate in almost all sports. I will say that while I truly love working with professional athletes, including the Charleston Battery players and the women’s professional tennis players at the Family Circle Cup, I think I enjoy working with high school athletes the most. They just want to get back and play. They have good attitudes and work hard to get back on the field or court.
Favorite TV shows
Honestly I don’t watch that many TV shows. I’m such a fan of the NBA and major league baseball, and I have the cable package that allows me to watch all of the games all season for both sports. Most nights I’m watching basketball, baseball, or some other sport.
It’s not that I’m opposed to TV shows. It’s just that as busy as I am, it is hard for me to follow a show that involves an evolving plot. The same thing goes with reality shows. Typically if I miss an episode of a show early in the season, I’m not likely to continue to watch it. I did like the early seasons of Lost and Friday Night Lights a lot. And that’s not to say that I’m above some bad reality TV, as I’ve been known to watch Survivor, Big Brother, and The Biggest Loser. In general though, sports are my TV entertainment of choice.
In general I like books that are funny and those that makes me think. I read a lot of humor books. I’ve read every Dave Barry book. I just started P.J. O’Rourke’s new book, Don’t Vote, It Just Encourages the Bastards, and I have read all of his others. I also like books that make me think, especially mysteries and suspense novels. I read every Agatha Christie mystery as a kid. I recently finished all three Steig Larsson books and loved them. My favorite book of all time, though, is Siddhartha by Herman Hesse.
As with books, I like movies that are funny and movies that are suspenseful or exciting. Wedding Crashers and The Hangover are among my recent favorite comedies, and I also like Old School, Caddyshack, Clerks, Mallrats, and many other comedies. As for suspense movies, classics such as Chinatown and the more recent The Silence of the Lambs and The Usual Suspects are among my favorites.
Who are your favorite bloggers to read?
I really don’t read many blogs, as I use the internet more for informational purposes than anything else. I do read one blog on a regular basis, and that is The B.S. Report written by Bill Simmons. Simmons hosts a podcast several times a week and writes a weekly column for ESPN. His columns are sports-based with a humorous side to them. I love his writing style and his ability to mix facts with entertaining arguments.
Simmons is actually starting a new website which will be run by ESPN but will not carry the ESPN brand. Reportedly he is assembling a team of writers for the site, and the content will mainly focus on sports and pop culture. One of my goals over the next few years is to, at some point, potentially write a sports medicine column for his website, or ESPN in general (although not at all likely). It is ironic that I don’t have the nerve to send an introduction letter introducing my blog and work to Simmons, but I’ve written it on my blog for everyone to see. Go figure.
Check back tomorrow for Part 3 of the 100th blog post, where I answer the questions I have received the most – namely why I blog, do media interviews, and love sports medicine.