So, before his name was to forever be attached to Tila Tequila's, Shawne Merriman sat down with Playboy Magazine and answered 20 questions for them. It's a really good interview, and you can click here to read the entire thing (SFW, I think).
Highlights of the interview can be found after the jump.
On the hardest players to hit: "Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. They’re great quarterbacks, but they’re also very hard to get to. They get rid of the ball quick; they make the right decisions. It’s not always about your athletic ability. There are some guys in the league who have more athletic ability than both of them, but Brady and Manning are so good. It’s really hard to hit them."
On the hardest hit he’s delivered in the NFL: "When I knocked out Priest Holmes. That was probably the hardest hit, and from what I’ve heard, it was one of the loudest hits anybody has ever heard."
On running into Priest Holmes after the hit: "I saw him two years ago at – of all places – the Playboy Mansion…It was awkward. Because on the field, I’m a beast and a killer. I’m going to try to get you by any means necessary. But off the field, I’m not like that. When I saw him I didn’t even know what to say. I said, ‘What’s up?’"
On critics who have claimed his hits were illegal: "When I was in high school parents sent letters complaining that I shouldn’t be on the field with their sons, that I was an animal. It was hilarious. They stopped letting me hit in practice. Whenever we had contact drills, they’d send me over to another field, where I would practice hitting dummies.
On being hit by Jacksonville Jaguars’ Maurice Jones-Drew during the 2007 season: "He came out of the blue when I was looking at the quarterback, and Maurice is about eight inches shorter than me. The guy leveled my ass. A f*cking bowling ball is what he is, man. It wouldn’t have been such a big deal if it wasn’t me. You know, ‘Lights Out got lights out.’"
On being hazed as a rookie: "I had to take the whole team out for dinner. The tab was about $32,000…I felt sick. I talked to nobody for three or four days."
On his childhood: "I had a really troubled upbringing, and some of the unfortunate things that happened are why I’m able to do what I do now. I’m built for everything that’s taking place now."
On being a judge for Miss USA pageants: "I loved it. I made a joke about Donald Trump twisting my arm to get me to go there, but I probably would have gone out there for free…You’re around 50 hot chicks, and I’m single. It was fun for me."
On appearing in Keri Hilson’s "Knock You Down" video with Kanye West and Ne-Yo: "I told [Kanye] ‘I’ve never done a video. I can show you how to hit a quarterback, but I don’t know about videos.’ [Kanye] said ‘All you have to do is stand there and be Lights Out.’ So I just stood there, and it worked. It was a hot video."
On being considered for the Hall of Fame: "People don’t often talk about the Hall of Fame this early in a career, and it’s an honor even to be considered. But I don’t feel it’s right until you prove yourself in your game. Anybody can have one or two good years. Do I want to be considered the best that ever played the game? Of course. But at no point in time do I want to come across as being disrespectful."