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SAN DIEGO--When Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman announced last week that he was retiring his “Lights Out” sack dance, he expected a massive public outcry from football fans who cherished his trademark celebration. However, no such outcry has materialized, leaving Merriman to wonder if the general public understood the gravity of his announcement.

“So far there hasn’t been the reaction I was expecting,” Merriman said on Monday. “That just tells me that word hasn’t really gotten out yet or that people thought I was joking or something. Well, it’s not a joke. It's over. I hope this sinks in before the season starts, because I don’t want everybody to freak out and start sending me hate mail and ripping up their season tickets.”

Merriman said he was surprised that news of his sack dance-discontinuation didn’t spread faster in this age of instant information and the 24-hour news cycle.

“I figured the second I mentioned it I would be deluged with emails,” Merriman said. “I haven't gotten any. I also thought it would dominate sports talk radio, but it barely got a passing mention. Even the bloggers seemed underwhelmed by it. The bloggers! I mean, where are their priorities? Come on, guys, it’s not all about who Reggie Bush is nailing and how many Zima’s Brady Quinn drank at his sister’s wedding.”

Merriman’s teammates were also underwhelmed by the news, especially running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who rolled his eyes when asked about the retiring of the dance.

“Oh, yea, he’s retiring the sack dance,” said Tomlinson. “Personally I could take or leave the stupid thing, but Shawne seems to think it adds to the enjoyment of the game. He actually stood up before a team meeting and made the big announcement like he was telling us he had cancer or something. We were all like ‘Who cares?’ Even Coach Turner was all ‘The fuck? Sit down. This is a professional football team,’ which was pretty shocking, because Turner doesn’t usually speak out of turn like that.”

Tomlinson did say he was concerned about the effect halting the sack dance would have on Merriman himself.

“I do wonder if this is going to somehow affect Shawne’s intensity out there,” he said. “Sometimes I think his only real motivation for going after the quarterback is doing that dance. We might have to convince him that getting a sack is its own reward, even if you’re not going to carry on after every takedown like a – well I hate to say it – like a 'roided up professional wrestler.”

Merriman has heard the criticism of his sack dance but still believes it is a fan favorite. The decision to halt it, he said, was the result of “a lot of soul searching.”

“It’s not a decision I came to lightly,” Merriman said. “The Lights Out dance is part of who I am as a player and a person. I know it ruffles some people’s feathers, but I also think it excites the fans and demoralizes the other team. It’s like ‘In your face, other team!’ and then they start drooping and feeling bad about themselves and they just want to go home. Plus I think that convulsing with ecstasy over the lifeless body of a quarterback you just tried to kill sends a wonderful message to all the kids out there.”


Copyright 2007, The Brushback - Do not reprint without permission. This article is satire and is not intended as actual news.

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Merriman Still Waiting For Massive Public Outcry Over Halting Of Sack Dance

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