I am a die-hard Kansas City Chiefs fan, but as the 10-12 readers of my blog (not to mention my twitter account) can attest to, I am a big fan of yours. Granted it wasn't always that way. Your first couple of years in the league, I thought you were a raving lunatic hell-bent on destroying my team's fragile quarterbacks. I burned in anger when you blew up Priest Holmes' career. I, like many Chiefs fans, rejoiced when you were suspended by the league in 2006. It was later, however, that I read about your background, and how you had survived numerous maladies as a youth. I was surprised, mostly because I usually didn't give two thoughts to the players wearing the opposite helmet.
Shawne Merriman #56 of the San Diego Chargers warms up before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on October 25, 2009 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
I started watching you play. I liked how you would throw yourself around with reckless abandon evoking fear in the hearts of opposing quarterbacks. It reminded me a lot of my favorite LB the late Chiefs star #58 Derrick Thomas. I enjoyed watching your tie ups with Tony Gonzalez on the line of scrimmage. I was cheering you on when I saw the cheap shot that messed up your knee. I, unlike most Chiefs fans, was devastated when you announced that you would not play the remainder of the 2008 season because of knee surgery. So, I settled for watching you, Jay Glazer, and Eddie George on Pro Football Talk.
I can't wait for the start of every season. I look forward to the Chiefs taking the field and hopefully winning the AFC West. I know, it's a little delusional, but I can still hope. I couldn't wait for the start of the 2009 season, because it meant "Lights Out" was returning to the field. I watched you try to power through the injuries, and unlike some fans, I understood how difficult it was to overcome. I cheered you on, and I don't think anyone screamed louder when you twice sacked JaMarcus Russell (because I absolutely hate the Raiders, and I thought it was funny) and later sacked Eli Manning twice.
Daunte Culpepper #8 of the Oakland Raiders is sacked by Linebacker Shawne Merriman #56 of the San Diego Chargers during the first half on October 14, 2007 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Earlier this year, I bought a Chargers jersey. It was the first time I had ever bought a jersey that was not from one of my favorite teams. That jersey was yours #56. Don't get me wrong, I still sport my Chiefs jersey even though it is a Gonzalez jersey, and he is in his second year with the Falcons, much to my chagrin. So, this season, I was looking forward to your playing at full strength.
Shawne Merriman #56 of the San Diego Chargers against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium on November 8, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Chargers defeated the Giants 21-20. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Look, I know you and A. J. Smith don't get along. I don't really think A. J. Smith is impressed by anybody but himself. I am not an A. J. Smith fan, especially after the way he kicked Marty Schottenheimer to the curb (I know there was probably more to it, but I prefer to have A. J. as the bad guy, because I love Marty). I'm not like those fair weather fans who are currently tossing bad names in your general direction. I save those names for the people who truly deserve it-The Raiders. I know you want to have some reassurance from the Chargers that they want trade you. You want to be wanted. I got it. It's no fun playing for a team that appears to not appreciate you.
This is the reason why I believe you should play. Show them how important you are to the team. Show them why they should give you those reassurances. Show them the "Lights Out" that put the fear of God in those quarterbacks, and if they trade you, show them why that trade will be their loss. I think there are a lot of Pro Bowl years left in you. We can't see that if you are at home (I also get that Training Camp may be a bit of a pain). It sickens me that Larry English is taking your reps (I don't really dislike the kid, but you get my drift). Remember what Joni Mitchell said "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone." Show the Chargers that you are the true leader of that defense. Show them that you are still that guy breaking through the line with reckless abandon. I hope you are on the field when the Chargers play my Chiefs on Monday night football. I want to be shielding my eyes as you break through the line and hit Matt Cassel (don't kill him, the team still owes him a lot of money). Show them why they should give you that long term contract, and if they don't take your talents elsewhere. I will still root for you, unless you become a Raider...just don't do that... Looking forward to seeing you on the field!
P.S. "The secret of greatness is simple: do better work than any other man in your field – and keep on doing it." Wilfred A. Peterson