Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm Down With OPPCL

By Nick McCann

I shouldn’t care about another person’s Posterior Cruciate Ligament. But the NFL, and the San Diego Chargers force this on me. The Chargers’ best defensive player (arguably), Shawn Merriman, is currently debating whether or not he should play in 2008, or get season ending PCL surgery due to his peculiar injury that has just seemed to pop up.

Everyone who has discussed this topic, including every former player asked about it (which is now about 90% of the sports media), has said that he should not even think about playing. Merriman is on pace to be a hall of fame defensive end and he is only 24 years old. Right now Merriman is running around the country trying to find a doctor that will tell him what he wants to hear. At least this is what he is trying to project to the media and his team.

I don’t think I believe that he wants to play. I don’t think he is as stupid off the field as he is on the field. I think he wants a little of the cred that Rivers got at the end of last season when he played on a bad leg. If he keeps the story going, he can come off as the ultimate teammate, and make himself more marketable than he already is.

Regardless of his “decision”, The Chargers will be a Superbowl contender with or with out him this season. Last season after his steroid suspension, he wasn’t the same player that catapulted him into superstar status, but he still managed to project the same level of borderline disgusting bravado. The guy got busted for juicing and then didn’t really shut up. His freakishly exceptional talent wasn’t real, but he still conducted himself with a confidence that suggested it was.

Shawn Merriman will not play this season. There is no reason for him to risk everything, but the problem will be that he won’t go away. He has a weekly television show lined up to be shot every Thursday in LA, and he was planning on doing this even if he was going to play.

After his drug suspension he should have never spoken, smiled, or done that ridiculous dance ever again. But that would have been an admission of guilt. He said after it all went down that he was going to sue the drug company that sold him the “tainted” pills. This never happened, and nobody really seems to care.

Now, hating on a player who uses steroids in NFL is like hating a hair metal band for doing cocaine in the 80s. If it really bothers you, you should stick your head in the sand and wait for the World Cup. But Merriman makes no attempt to hide his enjoyment of the fame his steroid use has gotten him. He needs to just be a quiet team player for the next decade and turn the lights out on the “Shawn Merriman thing” that would serve everyone better if it just went away.

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