MIAMI--Two weeks ago, Chargers linebacker Shawne “Lights Out” Merriman sent the Dolphins’ Jason Taylor a free “Lights Out” t-shirt, along with the suggestion that he wear it while watching the Chargers in the postseason. Unfortunately, the Chargers were eliminated after just one game and the shirt went out of style just as Taylor was starting to enjoy it.
“Oh, that’s disappointing,” Taylor told the Miami Herald on Monday. “I just got this great t-shirt from Shawne, and I was totally starting to love it, but now it’s kind of obsolete. It’s too bad, too, because it fit me perfectly. It was one of those shirts you could wear to bed then wake up the next morning and wear it to breakfast. Oh well. I guess I can still wear it to bed. Or maybe I can use it to clean up after I…well, I don’t want to get too graphic here, but let’s just say I can finally stop wasting all those paper towels. Those things aren't free, you know.”
Merriman sent the shirt to Taylor in response to Taylor’s questioning of whether he should win Defensive Player of the Year honors after testing positive for steroids. Merriman told Taylor, whose team missed the postseason once again, to wear the shirt “while watching [the Chargers] in the playoffs.”
Taylor was planning to do just that, and was shocked at how quickly they were ousted.
“Amazing. I really thought this team would go all the way,” he said. “They were 14-2 during the season, undefeated at home, they had the MVP in LaDanian Tomlinson, and they had a guy who was one of the best pass rushers in the league. Then it was over just like that. I enjoyed it while it lasted, though. They played a spirited game that could have gone either way. It’s just a shame that Merriman had to sit out with an injury. Oh…he was playing? Oops. Looks like I put my foot in my mouth again. Maybe I should just stop talking.”
To make matters worse for Merriman and the Chargers, Patriots players celebrated their victory by mocking Merriman’s “Light’s Out” dance after Nate Kaeding’s missed field goal. Several Chargers, most notably LaDanian Tomlinson, took exception to the childish display.
“You don’t disrespect us like that on our home field,” said Tomlinson, who ran for 123 yards against a stout Patriots defense. “You don’t do that ‘Lights Out’ dance. That’s Merriman’s dance. He invented that. He shoved it in everybody’s face all year. He made t-shirts and hats. He told everybody that he was ‘Light’s Out’ Merriman. Then he came into the biggest game of his life, after all that bluster, and laid an egg. So it stands to reason that the opponents would want to poke fun at him. Wait a minute. What argument am I trying to make here?”
Outside linebacker Shaun Phillips also had some choice words for certain Patriots players.
“That was totally classless, man,” he said. “I am not going to forget that. Next time we play them I will get my revenge. I will tackle them extra hard. I will say mean things to hurt their feelings. I will commit back-breaking personal fouls! You can print all this stuff, too, so they can read it and become paralyzed by fear. Listen up, Patriots! Shaun Phillips is coming for you! Also, I’m a restricted free agent, so keep that in mind if you’re in the market for a pass rusher.”
In the end, the Chargers high-octane offense and aggressive defense were not enough to overcome the mental errors that plagued them on Sunday. Their quick exit was hard to swallow for the players, who thought they were headed for the Super Bowl.
“One and done. That’s not something you plan for,” Merriman said after the game. “We thought we were going to Miami. But that’s football, I guess. You never know what’s going to happen. I still think it was funny when I sent that t-shirt and hat to Jason Taylor. I wish I could have been there to see the look on his face when he opened that package. Talk about putting someone in their place. It’s even funnier because that shirt is about as relevant as a Mondale-Ferrera bumper sticker right now. So he’s walking around in an obsolete t-shirt like a total dork! Ha! That’ll teach him to voice a totally valid opinion about one of his peers.”
Jason Taylor’s ‘Lights Out’ T-Shirt Already Out Of Style
|January 16 , 2007 Volume 2 Issue 77|