Merriman: Lights Out and Nobody's Home

J.C. AyvaziSenior Analyst IAugust 27, 2008

Congratulations, the Shawne Merriman Mystery Tour has ended right back where he started from.  Please don't let Al Gore find out how much fossil fuel was spent as he visited 4 doctors in a trip around the United States apparently for no good reason.

Minnesota, Birmingham, New York, and Miami were tour stops along with a TV gig in Los Angeles before returing to his San Diego base.

“I know what’s at stake,” Merriman told a reporter Wednesday. “But I had a goal with the team before the season started, and I’m sticking to it."  Glad to see you are not allowing the reality of your situation to interfere with your desires. 

Shawne is a Pro Bowl talent with Hall of Fame hubris.  Apparently, the time he spent at Maryland—from 2002-04 majoring in criminology and criminal justice—gave him plenty of insight into the peculiarities of the human knee.  Specifically the the posterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments, which have already be operated on five months ago by Dr. James Andrews.

Along with three of his colleagues, Dr. Andrews recommends additional surgery to strengthen the damaged ligaments.  Merriman holds a veto, and like a president dealing with a hostile congress, Shawne will use it like a club to try and get his own way.

Reminds one of NASA astronaut Lisa Marie Nowak as far level of delusion is concerned.  Let's hope he doesn't show up to practice wearing diapers.

Shawne is overlooking the unpredictabilty of contact in the National Football League.  If he plays trying to protect the knee, his effectiveness will plummet.  If he continues in his normal frenetic style, the knee will not last a month.

The current level of bracing available to players is not sufficient for the task of protecting the type of damage Merriman has suffered.  If his goal is to completely destroy the ligaments, Shawne is on the right track.  Then his career will be only a memory.

LaDainian Tomlinson, who is yet to play after a knee injury of his own last year, is pleased with Merriman's decision.  "How do you tell a warrior to sit down? That's what he is, a warrior. He's trained for this. It's hard to tell a guy to sit down," Tomlinson said.

If you are a responsible team doctor, coach, or executive it is not that difficult.  You want a player of Merriman's ability not to recklessly curtail his career.  If you are responsible.  Is San Diego responsible?  They won't be if they let Shawne suit up.

This will become a constant question for the Charger coaches and players.  Every day until his knee is shredded beyond the ability to play, reporters will pester for "insight" as to Merriman's condition.  San Diego's own little version of the Brett Favre soap opera.

Denver, Kansas City, and Oakland are all quietly pleased.  They know the division's defending champion will be in turmoil before and despair after the inevitable.  Some would say it couldn't happen to a better man, for Merriman's style and antics have won him few fans in these other cities.

No one should root for an injury.  It is far from proper civilized behavior.  But when one who has shown little of that same civility strikes out on a path that will lead to his obvious downfall, fewer lifelines will be thrown his way.  As he cuts through those that are being thrown, we will wish him good bye now.  Don't worry Shawne, your ambulance will be on its way soon.