Since when did Kevin Acee become the judge and juror on Chargers personnel? It's bad enough that he and Tim Sullivan are writing Merriman obituaries for the Monday edition (
the news came in at like 3 am and the paper comes out at 4 am, so these stories must have pretty much been pre-written based on existing opinions Edited: the arrest happened at 3am on Sunday morning, the paper came out at 4am on Monday morning) Now he's on ESPN commenting on how Merriman is for sure gone and Merriman's too-thick bad file? Acee's UT story states how well he (Acee) "knows" AJ yet, as we know now, Acee's predicted 53-man roster was way off with over 5 oversights (it really seems that Acee and AJ have a vulcan-mind meld.) All of this to support Acee's personal "scoop," that Merriman is for sure gone at the end of the season (Acee mentions on ESPN that it might be sooner, Merriman can be had for under the Richard Seymour price of a first-rounder.) Couldn't it be possible that AJ is playing the beat writer like he has in the past? No, impossible, AJ always wants the UT to have the scoop because that is in the best interest of the Chargers football organization.
First of all, Larry English has played less than two halves of two preseason games while missing extensive time with injuries and Chargers "experts" are ready to write him in permanently as a Merriman replacement, who had the most sacks in the NFL for the time he's been in the league (minus last year). After everyone acknowledges the problem with the Chargers is lack of pass rush, just inserting Larry "Almost three sacks during preseason" English is definitely the long term answer. Really? I love the way English looks on tape versus the small school competition but that's not the same as the NFL --it seems to me the same was said of Jyles Tucker after some preseason work and a huge contract extension, and I don't remember him or Phillips being quite the same as Merriman last year. AJ has a great track record but San Diego media give him too much credit a lot of times.
Secondly, can we at least wait for the facts of the case before crucifying Merriman yet again? Tila Tequila may not be someone I would want to chill with but if she was really drunk (which does not seem out of the realm of possibility given her reality show exploits) and Merriman tried to prevent her (he says his friend) from driving (which seems like a smart thing given the DUI problems of Chargers like Vince Jackson, Jamal Williams, Steve Foley, etc.) then isn't he doing the right thing? Is he not way bigger than her and might it not look wrong? Does she seem a bit hot header at times? No matter what you think of her, she is still Merriman's friend. Isn't restraining her better than having her out on the 56 or 5 running into people or killing herself? It almost sounds like Mothers Against Drunk Driving ad.
Finally, what exactly is this list of Merriman transgressions? Please let me know which ones I'm missing. One, four game suspension for steroids that Merriman says were mistakenly in supplements (bad, but not unlike Rodney Harrison, Steven Cooper, Luis Castillo.) Two, agreeing to fly into Fox Studios and taping a weekly TV football analysis show on his own time after practice. (Maybe hectic but doesn't seem to hurt the franchise, thinking of life after football and cashing in a bit on celebrity.) Three, twittering and on internet and TV too much (but not unlike Cro, especially LT who is ubiquitous, or others if they had the opportunity.) Four, worst of all, not agreeing to have his knee surgically repaired after being recommended by the team doctor (this one obviously killed the team but maybe a case of trying to tough it out for the team and not miss any time.) Five, wearing a mohawk and doing the "Lights Out" dance. Taunting did give the Chargers a bad reputation as being young punks for a few years but last time I checked Shaun Phillips is still grandma bowling, LT does his waiter flip, Coop does his Joey Porter anti-kick and Phillip chatters incessantly (albeit a bit toned down.) Shawne even didn't do the dance for a while to appease critics and then fans and other players called for it because the Chargers lost some of their swagger without it. If nothing else, he is entertaining and isn't that what football is suppose to be.
I think Merriman is not perfect but he's important to the Chargers. More than just his physical presence, he is the emotional leader and the only one who brings a real sense of toughness. He is the Chargers' swagger and while it might not always be right, the Chargers need that. I'm not sure if he stays long term, but let's not pretend that he is easy to replace or the Chargers are better without him. As important as he is to the team and given the fact that his trangressions unlike a lot of NFL players never really hurt anyone else, I wish more players, fans, coaches, writers, and personnel people, I'm looking at you AJ and Spanos family, would come to his defense once in a while or at least give him the benefit of the doubt.