Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 10 months ago

Shawne Merriman | Average To Savage EP132

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This is the one hundred and thirty-second episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring former NFL player Shawne Merriman. Paul Guarino talked with Shawne Merriman discussing his NFL career with the San Diego Chargers/Buffalo Bills, his entrepreneurial ventures such as Lights Out Xtreme Fighting, and being open to a celebrity MMA match vs Logan Paul.

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This podcast interview with Shawne Merriman was originally recorded on July 29, 2021

...this is the average to Savage podcast with paul Guerrino. Everyone in anyone athletes celebs and much more. Today's episode is brought to you by b usr dot com. You know, everyone always asks me where they should bet and now I got a solution for them. The U. S. R. Dot com slash paul. You deposit $100 they'll match your $100 in free bets so you basically get $200. Go check it out, be usr dot com slash paul of everybody. I'm back for another episode of the Average Savage podcast. Our special guest today is the legend, Sean, Merriman Sean. How's it going? I'm doing well, my man, how about you? Good appreciate you coming on. What was it just like your recruiting process like and things like that you know it's funny um I went to Frederick Douglass high school in upper Marlboro Maryland and um there was no D. One athletes, there was never somebody before me that went into A. D. One school and so it was like I started kind of catch people's lives and I got him I'm rocking my Maryland my Maryland shirt today. Um I went to the University of Maryland high School camp that they have for all the state of Maryland, D. C. And Virginia athletes that come for a three day camp. And that's when that kind of put me on the map my sophomore year. Um That's also the same year I got the nickname Lights out. So um when that happened man I started to get you know calls and and people reaching out and showing up my basketball games you know college college recruiters. Um And that you know that kind of is steamrolled after that. Yeah for sure. You gotta tell me how did you get the nickname? Lights out. So my sophomore year I knocked out four guys in one game and after the game I had about 2025 students come running up and they said, man, you knock those guys lights out. And I said, um, okay, cool, yeah, call me lights out. So I didn't, I didn't, I just said that because it flowed, I didn't know it was actually gonna stick. So monday, you know, I got in school, got my book bag going and walking to class and everybody's walking by me like a good game lights and called me lights. So it kind of stuck with me. And then at University of Maryland I got there my freshman year and most of the guys, especially juniors and seniors didn't want to call me lights out. And I got into, you know, your freshman, you know who you think you are coming here with a nickname, right? And my, I got into the game, I wasn't starting, but I got into the game uh, against Georgia tech on ESPN, it was one of our big national games and the wide receiver come trailing and running around across the middle and I hit him, knocked him out. Well he wasn't, he wasn't sleeping. He got up, stumbled and left the game and I don't know if he came back or not, but I got to the sidelines and all the juniors and seniors kind of passed me on the head and hit me on the back and a good hit lights out. I finally, my defensive coordinator, Gary Black, me, everybody called me lights out. So it was kind of one of those things that you know, you get a name at Rucker park, right, Like you gotta go up there, earn it. And so it was, it was one of those things where it was earned. Yeah definitely. And then what what made you stay home and go to University of Maryland? I I tell people now um between the D. C. Maryland Virginia area uh There's more talent than just about anybody in the country. So if you go look at texas or florida um California, Ohio if you look at those states all those guys stay home. They stayed in their own backyard. The problem is is that you know when when Maryland wasn't playing so well guys will look in Penn state, they go to Penn State, they go to florida state florida Alabama. They was leaving the state because the team wasn't you know the school wasn't good at the time. So now that mike locksley is back there who was my who recruited me to go to Maryland? Um He I think they have the top 15 or 20 draft classes in the country and they're going to make some ways this year coming up in the big 10. Yeah, for sure. What has it been like just for you to see like Maryland? Just like you were kind of just saying that just like grow now and just like all...

...the swag with all the under armour, all that. They've got a million jerseys. Look man, I said this, I said some of those uniforms they're coming out with, I'm guaranteed to Saks, right? I mean if you don't get to Saks and some of those uniforms as a pass rusher, outside linebacker man, just take it off. Um You know, they got things like five or six different switch ups and helmets. They have a new facility that was at the cole field house back in the day with the basketball games used to play at that now is an indoor practice facility. Um So you know it's just I'm really happy for him. I'm happy for Mike Locksley. I'm happy for the program because if the if the guys from the area from that D. C. Maryland Virginia area they stay home you know Marilyn can compete with anybody. Yeah. Yeah for sure. And then just like your time at Maryland like what was the, what was there like a moment there like you knew you could be in the NFL um Yeah my freshman year man you know I came in with that attitude and I came in with the attitude for a reason because I had a really good mentors lavar Arrington who um you know played for the Washington Redskins, great linebacker. There was my mentor in high school and when I got to college Ray Lewis, his younger brother keon Lattimore platforms that Maryland. so me and Ray got tight, so I would spend a lot of time with them, looking at NFL playbooks, um you know, work out during off seasons, I would go eat with a that, you know, I was just learning kind of a pro lifestyle man, so I had um I had this mentality that I was a professional walking in school and so it's just kind of mentally speeded me up man, I was ready, I was ready to go to the NFL, that's why I left as a junior. Yeah, for sure. And then what about like how is your house, your pre combine and things like that and then like where did you, where did you think you were going to go? And then like did that, your expectations meet meet? So I signed um I end up signing with uh end up going with Gary Wishart, Pat, you know he passed away some years ago. A great agent. He had Dwight Freeney, Jason, taylor keith Bullock. Um You know he had what he called us, his freaks, his freaking his players and when I when I signed with him I end up moving out to L. A. To marina del Rey. I trained out there for three months before the combine, but also at that time uh pacman jones, Darren's frozen. Travis johnson had all we are all assigned with Gary Wishart. So we were training together during the off season. Uh and it was also my first time being on the west coast and I was like man, if I could get drafted by someone the way I fell in love for like California, right? So I was like man, I I wish you know it's really only 23 teams, right? The Raiders san Fran Cisco and um, and the charges, right? There was a three team. Yeah. So that's the three teams in California. Uh, so I was hoping to go to one of those. I was like, man, look, I just want to get back out here to Cali because I went on my visit um to the charges and they had told me that if I was a slip to the 12th pick, they thought I was building go somewhere in the top five. But if I was there at the 12th pick, they wouldn't draft me. But also, so did the cowboys. So the cowboys had passed me up after I went on a visit with them and they went with the markets where uh, and then I knew that I was going with the charges marty Schottenheimer called me the day of the draft and you know, the rest is history. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. So you get drafted 12th overall. Um, I didn't know until I was doing my research, they, that was technically a part of the, the filled rivers eli manning trade. So what is that like to be a part of it now? Because like now we've seen both their cars finished. You know, it was cool because like, even when I'm from Maryland, so even when I go to new york and there's a lot of Maryland fans in new york and just on the east coast in general, and I would always get on the street like, man, you should have been with us hyper deal, right? Uh, me, look, they drafted a great quarterback, eli manning. Um, and you know, Super Bowl, you know, two times. So it was two time Super Bowl champ, right? Um, and so they had a great selection but also, I mean I know we didn't win the ring but you know, fill up if you look at the numbers did a lot better than eli now he got he got the trophies to prove it. We don't so give a credit there. But man, when I...

...used, when I go to new york they're like, man, you should have been with us. You know, I would always get that when I'm in new york. Yeah, I mean that's just crazy. Just like how everything turned out. I mean obviously you guys are three great players so I feel like everybody want like to be honest. And uh and then just like yeah like I like you were definitely like one of the most popular players like back in the day and the charters and all that Baby blue jerseys and all that. Like what was what was just like your overall experience like with the chargers? You know what man, when I got there? Uh, I walked in the locker room and you can be intimidated by a lot of stuff, right? Because you're potentially walk into the locker room or uh, with with four or five Hall of Famous, right? And LT has already been Antonio gates will be up in a couple of years. Um Who else? You know, you gotta, you know, Phillip by the never, he should go. You know, people can complain or go back and forth all they want to, but by the neighbors, Philip, Rivers should get the next, you're looking at Lorenzo and then also Lorenzo neal, who I've been pushing for to uh, for the Hall of Fame. He should be in a hall of Fame, that's the best for back player that ever played the game. Um And so he should get in. So you're looking at potentially four Hall of Famers on one team and I'm 20 years old just turning 21 walking into the locker room. And so I'm like damn, I got to know, you gotta go out here and uh you know, show your ass because they just drafted you, you know, the 12 picks, you gotta come in and perform right away. Yeah. Then just like what was it like to um just be a part of the charters for so long and just like, you know, you know, not, you know, not a lot of players, you know, stay with the teams that along. Especially nowadays, Let me tell you something man, we had such a close group of like a team. Um That's what made us good. Right? Well like the players, we ran the team, I mean it was, you know, we got on each other if practices running too long, you'll start hearing lT or one of these guys screaming tee times because they wanted to go play golf. I mean we we kind of led the charge and what we were doing um and so that's what what made us made us great and you know, if you go back and look at some of those teams and I'm a I'm a mad fan, I love to play madden with my son. Um you know, they need to put us on one of the greatest teams that that was ever a simple um you know, I know we didn't get the ring, but look on that roster, we had 11 pro bowlers in one year, you know, uh four Hall of Famers and so just just to be a part of that, maybe, you know, it's the biggest, I think the craziest thing is you don't notice that to you, you retire right? Like you go back, you look at everything, you're like goddamn, I played on, I played, you know, with LT and Phil and all this other stuff man. So you it was it was great times back then. Yeah definitely, I definitely used to play with the Chargers a lot and uh yeah just like even even just like that, like I feel like the Chargers organization is always just like a great team and they just haven't got through the hump yet. Like what do you like, what do you think they need to do to get over that health? I mean that's just that's been our biggest problem. And even back when we played in those NFC Championship games, we were all banged up, you know, I had a knee gates, had a foot uh Philip, had a torn A. C. L. He had surgery on that week just to clean up and play uh Nick Hardwick I think had a back or something. You know, it was all our top guys were injured going into that game and when you get that late in the season and sometimes it just comes down to who's the healthiest team who got, who got all their horses there and we didn't have all our guys there and uh that that kind of bit us in the ass a little bit. And even now, I mean a couple years ago to charge people getting charges, I think in 2018 they were 12 and four uh right, so you know, they had an opportunity to go there and and they got all banged up and the patriots when they got in the playoffs and start running the ball and kind of doing what they wanted to against the charges. So it's it's been one of those things where it's been health and I and I preached that now they got Justin Herbert um you know, kenan island mike, Williams, Joey Bowles from the other side, Kenneth married there, Derwin is back. Um you know uh Drew tranquil if...

...he's a good part of it. So they got guys right and if they stay healthy they should make a run for it. I know your name. Three time pro bowler. What was it like the first time you were named the Pro Bowl? I was uh so um it was only two rookies I think two. It was, what's the linebacker from Seattle? We were the only two rookies down there I think that year. And it was my first time seeing like you know I played against Peyton, manning my friend my rookie year. I had some sacks and stuff with them and you obviously watching on Tv but you know my first time get a chance to be around the pool chilling with him having drinks and seeing how his personality, how funny he was. You know, all the guys I competed against walter jones. I've seen walter jones like on the way to practice and we were on the same bus and I was like my God I played against that dude like that dude is humongous, right? And so you compete against these guys for 60 minutes during sunday's. But um you get a chance to see the personalities and that to me was cool with my first time ever asking for autograph. I've never asked anybody for autograph. I got the whole team to sign footballs and I got paid manage practice, Jersey provo practice. So it was my first time like being an environment where dude I'm I'm from P. G. County Maryland and you know I've got I brought all my family out there. I think I flew like 10 people out there the first time. Um So I my little cousins and aunts. No you know we didn't we didn't have that luxury to see that kind of stuff growing up. So it was it was like a big deal to me that you know my cousins and uncles and everybody get a chance to see hawaii uh and those type of things for the first time it was like one of your goals like always to get the most sad because I know 2016 year the sack leader. I I honestly man before I was injured and I was probably a little bit cocky about it because I would always kind of say things and I just believe in speaking things to uh to exist, exist as manifesting a lot, right? Um So I would tell I want to tell guys like I'm going to the profile every year, like I said that my rookie year and you know, I remember Big Jamal Williams, our defensive tackle looked at me like, you know, you cocky little shit, you know, coming in. Um but I just, I felt that way and I felt like I worked and um if I kept working and kept my head down that I was gonna go to the provo every single year, then I got hurt and you know, after my fourth year and I couldn't stay on the field after that. Um and you know, the crazy thing about it is that, you know, you come into an organisation that had one of the greatest linebackers of all time in Junior Sale and so you start I mean, I've never forget my after my rookie year. Uh it was an article that came out in the union tribune newspaper in SAn Diego, where they said they would compare me to Junior and I was like, oh my God man, don't you know, you talk about like you talk about Mr SAn Diego, you know somebody who 11 straight pro bowls of 10, 11 straight pro bowls, I think it was just just next level. So to get compared to somebody like that early on and then actually in my mind and thought process to actually want to follow in those footsteps and possibly be better. Um It was something like I I always constantly I said I was very vocal about that and I was vocal about it because I wanted, I wanted to be held accountable for it, you know what I'm saying? So um yeah, man, that was that was definitely a goal. Yeah, Yeah, that's awesome. That, you know, you just said you were like, yeah, yeah, I'm going to be a pro bowler every year. Uh And then yeah, so then after 2000, yeah, after 2010 season, you signed with Buffalo, uh what made you sign with Buffalo? Because I know like I always hear like mixed things about it from NFL guys. Oh dude, let me tell you what, I don't want to go there, you know, like, and initially I was scratching and screaming and I told the general manager who Buddy Nix who actually drafted me with the charge is a big part of me going there. Um He was a GM of the Bills And I remember the call...

...and I said, I said buddy, I love you to death. I ain't coming. Right. That was my exact words. I said, I love you to death, but I ain't coming. He said sean look, you know, um, we want you out here and uh, you know, we we we know what you can do and help the organization and you know, be a leader. And uh, I said buddy, I hear you, I hear you, but I'm still not coming. So do whatever y'all got to do. And I hung up the phone. He called me back like 20 or 30 minutes later and I said, I said, hello, somebody I told you I'm not comment. He said, uh, well, we'll just put in your contract. So I guess we'll be seeing here. I said, I don't I don't care do whatever you want. I'm not coming. You gotta put in my contract all you want, Right? So he did told me, he said, you know what? Every day you don't show up, it's like 10 or $15,000 a day. I said, okay, when you guys sitting in the plane, right, What do you guys sending the jet? So they end up sending me to playing out there? But it honestly was the best experience I ever had in my life at that point. Because I've never seen anything a fan base like this. Like we had good fans with the charges, charges of fans were great. But there are also great because we won a lot of games. Like it's not hard to come and see, you know, you got kicking everybody's ass with 14 and two seasons 13 and three. I mean we, we had a great team. Um, but in Buffalo is just like, they love you regardless of whatever happens, they love their, that you get in Buffalo is just unmatched. Um, and then I found myself not only loving to be in Buffalo, but also recruiting other people to buffalo Mario Williams, nick, Barnett kurt Morrison I got all those guys did. Um, and it was like one of these things where that was just, you know, some, some places that I got really attached to. Yeah, that's I mean that's awesome. Yeah, I'm sure like everyone sees, you know, the Buffalo Buffalo bills fans just like go viral every year. Pretty much for something crazy. Um, and then just tell me about like after your career, I know you're doing a lot of entrepreneurial things and you opened up your own mm. A league? How Yeah. How how is that? How did that, how did that all come about? First of all? Well, you know, first and foremost, um, I've been around the sport for 16 years. I actually uh, started training just a little bit doing between my 2005 and 2006 off season. Um, a good friend of mine, jay Glazer over at Fox Sports, he said, um, hey, I think you should come and learn from in May and that, mind you, I got boxes in my family, I got, you know, three professional boxes in my family. So I grew up around boxing, but mm A was just getting hot, like around the mid two thousands, so I wanted to go train first day I walked in there, jay Glazer on the right, randy guitars on the left and I'm looking like, holy shit, I'm not sparring, randy couture, I'm not fighting randy door like, but I said, no, no, no, we're gonna, we're gonna teach you something. So I started to work it um every off season after that, and you know, I got the pleasure being around some of the great Tito Ortiz and chuck Liddell and all these guys, what I've spent some years around around, uh well I got a chance to train and work and get, you know, just little things that ultimately end up helping me in football. So fast forward now to uh, you know, Miami made company lights out extreme fighting where um, we got a big fight at the Commerce Casino coming up august 7th. We also just announced a big partnership with football tv, uh football sports. Um so now there will be streaming all over the country, I think Canada Spain was simulcast in spanish. Um and it was something that I knew that was happening over the last like, probably a month and so when you know, something big is coming and you can't talk about it yet, I'm like, goddamn is killing me. Um But yeah, it's a great partnership for us um the great over there to work with and their up and coming, you know, streaming sports streaming service, got a bunch of good programming on that. We have more announcements coming, including some former athletes from other sports transitioning into lights out. Alright, yeah. Speaking of that, so I know you just said you had boxers and your family, so would you ever do a celebrity like boxing match? You know, you see, you know, if if I ever was gonna fight man, to be honest, it's going to be in lights out if I, if I ever was um Honestly, I wish like I'm going to Spar today, uh 3 30 um and I...

...just like to work. I like to stay in shape and have some kind of competitive. I try to tell any any former athlete, I don't care what sport you play. Pick up some form of combat sports, boxing, muay thai jiu jitsu something, Right? Um, and just pick it up because we we all are kind of missing something when we get done that competitive side to kind of get us going back and everything else. Yeah. What what would you what would you pick? And the mayor boxing? Um, I was doing before Anything else? I want to take somebody to the ground. I ain't got time to look cute. Alright. So would you All right. So Logan paul says he wants to do mm. Eh? Would you fight him? And Yeah, absolutely. I fight Logan. Sure. 100%. I mean, he's a he's a big dude but you're bigger. Yeah but I would I would for that I would drop I would drop weight if I had if Logan was down to fight. I mean that would be that would be pretty cool. You got your own promotion. You Logan paul obviously he wants to do it. So that would be pretty dope. Um, and then, and then we're on a podcast obviously now tell me about your podcast and then why did you start a podcast? Yeah. Lights out extreme podcast. You can get it anywhere. Apple and you can download any way you can get podcast from. And I really started it man because I was doing these radio shows and like your your on and off in 10 minutes. Right? And then um you ask, you get asked about four or five questions and you're done and with me I have so many different stories. I have so many different background and networks of people. So we talked football, we talk Nascar. We talk college sports. Uh, obviously mm a and so for me it's just been really cool to do because you know, they're 25 around 25 or 30 minutes long and it's more of a conversation. Right? And I think that when you're talking to another athlete and you know, you feel comfortable enough to have like minded conversations. Is that what what people really enjoy about it? Yeah, definitely. And speaking of Nascar, I saw that uh, back in 2017 you did like a partnership with them, which uh, I didn't even know about. And then I'm sure you saw like, you know, chad johnson and um Brandon Marshall did like a partnership with them to get through the podcast thing. So I guess you were before you were, you're ahead of the curve. I'm always ahead of the curve man and everybody else, you know, get credit for it after uh, no, I had a team on the Canon series uh, with Jesse would use one or two black drivers in Nascar and I thought that it was some important for me to get behind right because they, it was a big diversity issues some years ago and there needed to be more, um, you know, Hispanics, asians, blacks, other, um, you know, minorities in the sport and I wanted to get behind that. Uh, Nascar actually did a great job. I was, I was, you know, not really surprised but kind of caught off guard and how much they were trying to support that initiative. So it was really cool for me to work with. Yeah, definitely. I think you might have to re reach back out to them and do something else. I wear 11 day when I get ready. You know, I saw Jordan get back in. I'm like okay, yeah, George get all the credit because he's, you know, he's go it's M. J. Um, and he's a little bit more funded than I am to go into the sport. But uh, it's honestly, man, it's one of the, it's one of my passions to be around and when I'm less busy I try to get out to at least four or five tracks a year. Yeah, But I don't think people realize how much it actually cost to like run a car per week. I mean just just on, on our series alone it was 25 plus a race. So you know, you get, you get up to the cup series and you're talking about a half a million and a half million dollars of the race. Yeah, it's not money. Um What advice would you give to like a younger kid? You know trying to get like a D. One scholarship or trying to go to college or like trying to make the pros take care of what you need to do today. It's you know a lot of this social media and all this other stuff, people are more concentrated on where they're trying to get to instead of taking care of what you need to do today, the workout school, all those things, if you do everything right, you don't get there. But to try to skip the process because people are telling you you're gonna be great, you're gonna go to the one, you're gonna play the professional, you know, you're gonna play pro ball one day. Well, let all the other people...

...think that and talk about that. But you have to do what you need to do today so you can get their handle your responsibilities don't look too far ahead when every single day and you eventually get to where you want to go. Yeah, definitely. Then one last serious question. What is your what's your take on the new N. I. L. Rules with college? Yeah. Um as far as he paying college athletes? Yeah. Oh yeah it should have been happened. You know, it's one of those things where you know, look, I get it. Um guys are getting scholarships and things like that, but there's an awful lot of money being made from these college athletes and look, the least you can do is let them make money off of their own name. It's their name, they were given, they earned it. Um and at least they're able to do that. I'm sure there will be some restrictions and some things they've got to cut back on and watch and stuff like that because you know, you get a lot of these sleazy people or sleazy agents run around the campus trying to, you know, getting getting guys face or some kind of sleazy businessman is offering a deal. So they call this guy's got to still be protected, but to not make money off your own name. A name that you built is just ridiculous to me. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. No, I think it's gonna be dope for those kids that are just like their elite at their colleges, but don't necessarily make it to the pros, like they're gonna cash out and they're like, you know, the pharaohs of that? 100% no doubt. Are you ready for some fun questions? Let's do it. What's your what's your favorite song right now? Um Favorite song I love uh straightening me. Uh Yeah, that's straighten is my favorite song right now, like that, Who who's like uh like who's on your wish list to interview on your podcast? I want to get the rock one day. Yeah, we do. I want to I want to get the rock. I mean, I know him. You know, we've we've hung around each other several times. But um to really, I actually want to talk to him more about the transition, right? Because nobody did it bigger than him from where he was going with W. W. And now, two movies and businessman production. Um, but I think it would be very informal for a lot of guys trying to look for that second act they done with their first or transition out. Yeah, definitely. Uh what do you like to do in your free time? I work man. Um I have a insurance agency also. Life insurance agency. Lights out agency dot com if people want to go to that brand noise always. Um And so you know just helping and protecting families also helping people make six figure uh incomes. So it's been cool to me because it was something I got into over the pandemic, what I was just kind of doing. We all had a lot of time with our hands. I got my insurance license. Um But you don't have a team of a little under 100 agents and we're growing like crazy and then you know we'll help we're protecting families man. It's you know it's covid thing has brought a lot of things to surface. So again man, if you want to join my agency and if you want to get more information, go to lights out agency dot com. For sure. Alright, so I gotta ask you do you have anything else going on? And you got a lot going on? That's it man. Just this lights out extreme fighting um august 7th uh in the football tv deal man. We uh I think that partnership is going to be major and this is why obviously we'll be showing the fights live but we have some more content, some shows that I have in the works right now about these athletes, these former athletes transitioning into combat sports into lights out extreme fighting. This is like next level. This is a big deal. Do you know how many like fights around the card yet? Yeah, so this fight coming up we have 12 fights. Um Start streaming live at 6:30 p.m. Pacific. So if you don't have football tv man make sure you get it. Um It's gonna be next level. Yeah for sure. Well I appreciate you coming on and you have the listeners know where they can follow you at, yep just follow me at Shawn Merriman on twitter, instagram, tiktok and also follow lights out XF on instagram and twitter. This episode has been brought to you by B USr dot com. Go check it out to get your free $100...

...bet when you deposit $100 at B. U S. R. Dot com slash paul. Thank you.

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