ESPN – Former NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman has signed a deal with the World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (WBKFF) to compete in a boxing match later this year. Merriman, 34, has teased the possibility of competing in combat sports, notably mixed martial arts, for years. A three-time Pro Bowl selection with the San Diego Chargers, Merriman — whose nickname was “Lights Out” during his playing career — retired from professional football in 2013… A date and opponent for Merriman’s bout has yet to be determined. The event will take place this fall in Casper, Wyoming, and is expected to air via pay-per-view online…
Merriman was a standout linebacker at the University of Maryland and a Chargers first-round draft pick in 2005. He notched 39.5 sacks during his first three seasons, despite serving a four-game suspension in 2006 after testing positive for a banned substance. Injuries derailed the final five years of his career; he played just 33 games during that span.
Let me just Papa Doc my headline real quick before any of you have the opportunity to chirp me. Yes Julian Edelman is currently serving a suspension for taking a banned substance, yes Rodney Harrison served a PED suspension, yes Tom Brady was suspended for deflating fucking footballs
(Now that thats out of the way, back to the blog.)
But none of that changes the fact that Shawne Merriman is one of the biggest enigmas of our generation. The guy was an absolute savage, a preposterously strong, athletic, and menacing linebacker that tormented the league for years. Racked up 10, 17, and 12.5 sacks in his first 3 years in the league then he got popped for PEDs and had 6 sacks over the next 5 years. Maybe it was the PEDs, maybe it was injuries piling up (33 games over the final 5 years), but either way the guy was never even close to being a replacement level player ever again. Thats a pretty clear line of demarcation. Sorry, Chargers fans.
Not to mention the reason all Patriots fans loved to hate Shawn Merriman; the silly “Lights Out” sack dance.
The guy would put on this whole show after sacking a QB. But god forbid anyone mocks his pre-planned, organized dance, which is exactly what the Patriots did after yet again upsetting the favored Chargers in the playoffs in 2007. The Chargers all flipped out because doing the dance that was thrown in everyone’s face all year long was not classy.
“I would never react in that way. I was very upset,” Tomlinson said. “When you go to the middle of our field and start doing the dance Shawne Merriman is known for, that is disrespectful. They showed no class and maybe that comes from the head coach.”
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said he saw some Patriots pointing to the scoreboard, mimicking the dance and stomping on the Chargers’ logo at midfield.
“Every time I will play New England it will be a personal grudge,” linebacker Shaun Phillips said, according to the Union-Tribune. “That was very classless.”
Either way, I will absolutely be watching this bare knuckle boxing match as long as its not more than like $20. While I enjoy ragging on Merriman still all these years later, I will watch him try his hand at combat sports. Dude probably has a bundle of frustration built up over the past decade just waiting for someone to catch these hands after the way his football career ended.