Saturday, October 16, 2010
Douchebag of the Week: Shawne Merriman
When Merriman first stormed on the scene as a rookie, the guy looked like a surefire Hall-of-Famer. He was a perfect fit in Wade Philips' 3-4 attack. He and Shaun Phillips formed an attack that opposing quarterbacks came to fear. His finest season came in 2006, when he had 17 sacks, but was also suspended for four games for taking steroids. The Chargers went 14-2 that season, and were famously knocked out of the playoffs by the New England Patriots.
The 2008 season is when Merriman started to fall apart. Throughout the offseason, he was rumored to have a torn ACL, but decided against surgery in the offseason. He decided to play through the pain, but finally decided to have surgery, thus wiping out his entire 2008 season. Having surgery earlier in the offseason might have allowed Merriman to be available for a stretch run, but he was lost for the season. The Chargers only won eight games that year, yet still won the AFC West.
Since then, Merriman has been more renowned for his off-field incidents. He was arrested in 2009 for allegedly choking and beating reality-whore Tila Tequila. Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith also grew tired of Shawne Merriman's off-field antics, such as excessive partying, and his love for a "Hollywood lifestyle."
This past off-season, the Chargers slapped the highest restricted free agent tender on Merriman, deciding that his potential was worth the $3 million salary the said tender came with. Merriman decided he would hold out all off-season, including much of training camp, as he thought that he deserved a long term deal. The Chargers didn't see the good in locking up a steroid cheat of a linebacker, who had all of 4 sacks in 2009. Merriman even later acknowledged that there really wasn't a point to his holdout. Instead of getting ready to avenge a pathetic playoff defeat, Merriman, didn't work with the team in the off-season, a decision that leads him to the unemployment.
Shawne probably isn't a bad guy, but he has epitomized the Chargers recent misfortunes. Starts off strong, looks like a champion, and crashes like a wave. Was it the steroids, or did he simply peak at the age of 23? Time will tell, but here's one last kick in the ass to one of my least favorite Chargers of all time. Good riddance, Shawne, and take your Summer's Eve douche on the way out! You just won douchebag of the week!
Posted by Kevin Charity at 11:55 PM