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Shawne Merriman, Former Bills Linebacker

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
January 3, 2023 8:52 pm

Shawne Merriman, Former Bills Linebacker

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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January 3, 2023 8:52 pm

Shawne joins Zach to give some perspective on the Damar Hamlin injury and how it impacts the team


You're listening to The Zach Gelb Show. Zach Gelb here with you on CBS Sports Radio. Last night, obviously, an unfortunate scene in Cincinnati between the Bills and the Bengals as Damar Hamlin was taken off the field in an ambulance.

He needed CPR, and we're just hoping that he will be okay, as that was a scary, scary scene that did unfold last night. Now joining us is a former Chargers and Bills linebacker, right now, is doing some great work with his lights out extreme fighting and has an announcement with Fubo Sports about the LXF8 event. And that, of course, is Sean Merriman, kind enough to join us for a few minutes right now on CBS Sports Radio. Sean, I know it's been a while. I wish we were talking under better circumstances, but I appreciate you carving out a few minutes for us today. Absolutely.

Thanks for having me. So last night, and you know, right, there's always risks when you play this game, but you never expect to see a teammate need CPR on the field. Just how did you process the awful scene that we saw unfold last night on Monday Night Football? Well, you know, it was difficult for me to watch for a lot of different reasons. Obviously, me being a former Buffalo Bill and extended family out there and just, you know, in my opinion, one of the greatest fan bases in all of sports, to have them watching that in person was tough. To see Josh Allen and Stefan Diggs and those guys, their faces and expressions on the sideline was tough to watch.

And you're right. We all know that there's a possibility of some kind of injury or some kind of, you know, downfall in this game because it is a very physical sport. It's a very violent sport.

And we all understand that they're all repercussions to them. Under no circumstance can you ever predict something like that happening. I've been a part of seeing guys go back down wildly from concussions and things like that, but to actually see your teammates receiving CPR during the game is something you can't really carve out of your mind probably ever. I've always said whenever you see a player get taken off on a stretcher or get taken off in an ambulance, that I don't get how players go back to playing football. Now usually if it's a leg injury or a concussion or a back injury, spine injury, you always see a player give a thumbs up and then somehow in just our minds we go back to playing football. There's no way they could have played that game last night. And I'm thankful and appreciative that they didn't even end up getting the guys back on the field to go play that because I don't know how they would just be able to turn the page when you never even got the thumbs up and you saw that there was CPR going on in the field.

Yeah, it's totally understandable. And I saw that some people were complaining about them not just entering the game right away, but they also have to understand it's a course and kind of a connected situation to make that call. First the NFL has to talk to the NFLPA. Both organizations have to talk and say, hey, under no circumstance we finish, we'll figure this thing out later on, but we can't continue it now.

So it's not one of those things, hey, the ambulance come on. And actually you really don't know completely what's going on with DeMar Hamlin at that time. Everybody's just in shock still. So it took the NFL a little bit to call it after circling the wagons with everybody and trying to figure out what's the best call and best situation to do. But I think they made a very, very smart, you know, a very thoughtful decision in not having the game being played. Sean Merriman here with us. You know, eventually people will go back to football and write football is going to resume.

Right now they have not postponed the games for this weekend. I just don't even know because you know this being in locker rooms, you spend more time with your teammates than your family in season, outside of season as well, just with how much dedication it goes into giving us the product that we see on the field. And I just don't know how these Buffalo Bills players are going to go back to playing football this year. You know, one of the biggest things I think that it brought up the human side of football, you know, sports, but football in general to everybody, right? We constantly talk about, you know, X's and O's and who wins, who losses, who got traded, contracts. And then in a quick moment, we all understood that those guys are really out there putting their lives on the line. Now, it's not an everyday thing that something like that happens.

So we understand that part, but we also understand that, you know, going forward, guys are really, really more appreciative, you know, even myself. And I saw that happen. I said, I played the game really rough.

You know, I played the game as hard as that can possibly play. And for me to have, you know, nothing happen like that to me, you know, you walk away feeling blessed because you walk away feeling blessed because you don't even think that that's a possibility because for the most part, we walk around like we're Superman, all of us. And we can't get injured.

And if we do get injured, we'll be back after six months or five months and we'll be back healthy again, right back on the field. But for that split second, you realize that you're human, just like everyone else. And something can happen to you and your family and everybody around you will be, you know, kind of concerned. So I'm hoping, I'm praying. I went to sleep last night thinking about a lot. I woke up this morning thinking about a lot and just what his family and friends were watching and what they were feeling, not being hopeless, not being able to do anything. That's probably the worst feeling of it all. Sean Merriman here with us.

Just a few more questions on this and then we'll talk about your new venture as well. Just when players walk back into the facility, like we had Sal Cappaccio on, who's the longtime Bill Sideline reporter, like the Bills are supposed to have players walk into their facility tomorrow. I can't even imagine what's going through their mind, Sean. Yeah, it's tough. And I'll say this. And let's remove the human side of what we are seeing, its family and everything else. Let's also understand that, you know, those guys on the field playing the games that they love, but it's also a business, right? They're all taking care of their families.

They all, and I'm not just talking about the players. I mean, the organization, the, you know, the staff, everybody, you're there to take care of your family. It is a business. So they do have to continue on no matter what. I know it's going to be difficult. It's not one of these situations where, you know, you wake up, a day goes by, two days go by, the third day, you're just feeling a lot better about it. No, it's constantly on your mind, but they have to figure out a way to go forward.

You know, hopefully, DeMar, he's healthy enough to talk to some guys, to give them some words of encouragement, to go out there and play, win the game for him. Don't think about me. Don't worry about me. I'll be fine. Go win. So see, you almost need a sense of validation from him to say, you know what? We have to go and do this because you're right.

There's no way to walk in a facility anymore, just feeling completely normal. And from your lips to God's ears that he's able to do that soon. Just real quickly, as Sean Merriman is here with us, just one other football point, just getting to the Chargers now this season. It has been a crazy season for them, a lot of ups and downs, obviously, but it seems like they're getting healthy at the right time of the year. And we know that guy, a quarterback, Justin Herbert, he's going to keep them in a lot of games. When you look at the Chargers, how do you kind of view their outlook as now we know they're going to the playoffs?

And what do you think they're getting ready to embark on? Well, you know, I sit back and obviously I'm really close to the team that I've met every whole game. So I still support the organization. But more importantly, there's been a lot of chatter about Brandon Staley, whether he should not be there or not. The offense quoted Lombardi.

There's a lot of talk, right? For that team, for the charges to have as many injuries as they had this past year, it was nearly impossible for them to make the playoffs. I mean, seriously, injuries, yes, is a part of the game. We saw plenty of injuries on, you know, on the plenty rosters. But the amount of injuries and the type of players that were injured went down not just for a game or two for six games, eight games and permanent IR. And for them still to make the playoffs, it shows what type of team they are.

And it to me, in my opinion, it also makes them one of the tougher opponents, the scary opponents to play when it comes down here deep in the playoffs. You talked about that community in Buffalo just a little bit. You know, I have some friends that play for the Buffalo Bills.

I've been to games there before. You see the outpour of support right now, not only from Bills fans, but Bengals fans, all NFL fans. You know, obviously, no one wanted to see this happen last night. But you see the four or five million dollars raised to DeMar Hamlin's charity. It shows you some of the good even in a bad situation that could occur in this league, Sean. Well, I'll tell you, man, those Buffalo Bills fans and that Buffalo, the city of Buffalo, they got some special people there. And I was fortunate to play my career there in a couple of years and experience that because it's hard to put in words unless you actually are there. You really do feel like your family. And that's just, this is one case of a thousand cases that they stepped up to the plate, not only just for the Bills players, but if you've seen the other guys organizations and charities, they've done that too. That's what type of people you're talking about in Buffalo.

And you know, it doesn't get much better than them. So it's going to be a situation where the city of Buffalo is going to need to rally behind what happened, the rally behind the team and organization come together and realize it was a tragic situation, but find a way to continue on to get it done. All right, Sean, before we let you run, I know you have this Lights Out Extreme Fighting League that we've been talking about for a while, and you have a little bit of announcement for this LXF 8 event.

Tell us about it, what everyone needs to know about it. Yes. Yes. Lights Out Extreme fighting with back LXF 8 on Fubo Sports, January 14th, starting at 7 p.m. Pacific. That'll be Eastern, 10 p.m. Eastern. You can check us out. Got a big, big, big card coming up. And if you don't have Fubo, check this out, get it. It's going to be a huge matchup in Riverside, California. It's going to be a massive, massive show. You can get your tickets at Lights Out XF.

And if you don't have Fubo, check us out Saturday, January 14th. I'm just wondering because you played football for a long time, 2005 to 2012. You played your college ball at Maryland, was a first round draft pick. You're a first team All-Pro multiple times, defensive rookie of the year, led the league in sacks. You have a pretty accomplished resume.

Whenever guys don't walk away from the game, you never know what they're going to do. What made you want to get involved in the fight world? Well, you know, for one, I started training myself during the all season in 2006 and I just literally did it to help my handout coordination of football become a better pass rusher, being able to use my hands. Turns out I was pretty good at it and I love the sport. And, you know, being able to work with a lot of really, really big name and experience MMA fighters across this country and really across the world and then launching Lights Out Xtreme Fighting on my own in 2018 and now being on the opposite side of things.

We're talking about production and operation and having live TV and satellite trucks and tickets and venues. I mean, all those things you just said, I mean, I love the game of football. It's been a passion of mine. It was a lifelong dream that I accomplished.

And now I'm in the next phase of my life where not too many guys get a chance to do what I'm doing and building the organization, the size and speed that we're doing it in. Well, Sean Merriman, appreciate the time. Thank you for the perspective today and good luck. Thank you. Appreciate it. There you go. Sean Merriman joining us at Gelb here with you on CBS Sports Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-08 06:27:25 / 2023-01-08 06:32:58 / 6

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