Former Terp Shawne Merriman comes home to discuss his Lights Out MMA promotion on FUBO Sports.
mma, nfl, years, sport, shawn merriman, boxing, pg county, week, football, people, coats, maryland, growing, fight, background, happened, business, basketball, lights, talk
Nestor Aparicio 00:00
What am I telling you and S T Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive you’re positively into a brand new year, and maybe some brand new crab cakes as well. We’re gonna be doing the Maryland crab cake tour beginning next week at CHI and a Coney Island hot dog in Whitemarsh. No longer Highlandtown Andy will be out with us we’ll be giving away some scratch offs in the Maryland lottery has some leftover holidays as well. Some ravens scratch offs to give away next Thursday. It’s also brought to you by our friends at Goodwill, as well as our friends at window nation. 866 90 nation we call them wise conversation. I’m going to read from goons and I have my red here. It’s not the Terps this week I had Tom McMillon on for a long spirited chat about NFL and now we bring back a guy that every time I see him much like when I saw Stefon Diggs the other night on Team SC he turned to Shawn Merriman, we welcome him back on. Dude, I am I’m apologetic. I’m about seven or eight weeks late on your lights out coach drives you to wherever you’re usually you join me in the middle of football season, but you’re onto a new endeavor and MMA but first things first. Good to have you back. How’s the code tribe,
Shawne Merriman 01:04
man? Very good talking to you. Again, the code grab was great. My 25th year, and it was special because the amount of people that came back that was around when it originally started. So it was two things I thought that was that was awesome to see them again. But two, I am really old. So those two things happen. But it was great man we collected, you know, little over 1000 codes. You know, we didn’t go as big as we know what, what around 2020 500. But look, it’s 1000 people that went with a coat this year, this warm. And that, in fact, to have, you know, people to still remember this thing and supported. But after 20 years was was really, it was a great feeling for me, man. So it was it was good to get back.
Nestor Aparicio 01:49
How did it start? I mean, what was it? Like? Were you a kid who was cold? I just why coach and it 20 years ago, because we’ve done tons of stuff around here over the course of 31 years radio, and it always begins with someone in need. There’s always a story. It just doesn’t happen that way. Yeah,
Shawne Merriman 02:06
well, you know, I grew up there to Prince George’s County area. And you know, we were left homeless because we lost our home during a fire. So you know, me, my mom, my sister, we went at the stay in shelters, we stayed in back in the cards. And I remember just this one winter, what was so cold outside, you know, we had on two sweaters. We had socks in our hand for gloves, me my sister. And I said, You know what this is, this is hard. I don’t want anybody else to feel like this. And if I was ever in a position to help anyone else not feel like this, and I would and that’s how my freshman year at the University of Maryland, I created the lightsworn coat drive, to you know, help kids Nashville the way I felt. And I felt like I had a platform at that point. And we initially started that I would just get 100 coats. If I got 100 coats, I was happy. That was 100 people that was going to go warm this winter, and we got over 2000 coats. And so at that point in time, I knew that we had something special that we had something that was much needed, especially in the DMV area. So you know, I just continued it on for 20 years now. And it’s still going over 38,000 coats over the last 20 years. It’s been a great ride.
Nestor Aparicio 03:14
Well listen, I want to talk no extreme fighting in MMA and the obvious, inherent violence that’s involved in it. But obviously, with your background and sports, and you were lights out, and you know the reason for that, and the way you hit people and all that. What happened on Monday night, and we’re just used the morning. So if you’re hearing this later on, I don’t know what’s happening to these games or the standings. We want. We want this young man to survive and live a long prosperous life. But you’re a football player, man, you’ll always be a football player, Gladiator. I mean, you had injuries, lots of injuries. I mean, what we saw on Monday night, I hope we never see it again. And I really did wonder whether there was a playbook for the NFL in that instance, to hit a button that it didn’t feel like that they had a whole lot of plans for what happened on Monday night.
Shawne Merriman 04:01
Yeah, it’s tough to see and, you know, prayers for the young kid handling man, he’s, um, you know, obviously me playing with the Buffalo Bills, there’s always gonna be a extended family of mine. So my heart goes out to him and his family and everybody who had to really sit back and watch because I think the scariest part of that situation is the uncertainty of not knowing, right? Hey, he got up and you think that he went down as a concussion? Which is don’t get me wrong. It’s very scary. Just having a question. We’ve seen it out of multiple players, to a bunch of guys who stumble after standing up and to actually see CPR performed on someone on the field. I can’t imagine being on the field as a teammate. I can’t imagine that being my family. That is happening too because you can’t get to him. You can’t even get the information. So we all realize that football is a dangerous game. There’s no doubt about that. It’s a great game. It’s a greatest game in my opinion on or, but it’s also a dangerous game. And I think for the first time fans, seeing the reality of what can happen to the game, and it kind of put in perspective, a lot of things, right. So when you have your favorite player yet your favorite team, you get these emotions about wins losses. And obviously people say it to build things because that’s their favorite team, or their favorite player. Now you get the human side of what you just saw. And so maybe a lot of people perspective, and how they look at the game, and how they emotionally feel attached to it when you talk about fantasy football and things when decimals and numbers that someone is actually putting their life on the line. So I don’t know the full story today. What happened, I saw that he was breathing on his own, he’s getting back to normal. But then again, I’m still praying for him. That was a very scary situation aside to see and certainly
Nestor Aparicio 05:55
for the league to stop the game for everybody to go home. I mean, I we’ve never seen anything like that. Shawn you got involved in something that’s obviously got some inherent violence in it as well. I gravitated away from MMA like Johnny Rolla we were altar boys together little league played little league football that show gun fights, I help him promoted. He sat in radio station studio 1000 times here, man, no, no my whole life and trying to get illegal. I remember remember we went down Annapolis trying to get illegal seeing it on television. Now we’re two decades into this. And many folks in the football space gravitate toward this, but this is a whole different business endeavor for you. And I want you to lay it out for because I don’t know a whole lot about it. I read a Wall Street Journal piece. About a week week and a half ago you and I have some mutual friends. We usually see each other the Super Bowl. What do you enjoy Shawn Merriman, tell me.
Shawne Merriman 06:46
Yes, we’ll have lightside extremely fight and it’s my MMA promotion I’ve had around for a couple of years now. We just renewed our contract and deal on football fubo TV so if you you’re in MMA, you want to check this out. We have you know, the next up and coming great fighters they all come through lights out first before they go anywhere else. So you know, we have a big fight coming up January 14, live on fubo at 7pm Pacific 10pm. Eastern, it’d be a two and a half to three hour show and just check us check. Check us out, you know, footballs carry a bunch of great sports content in general. And we just happen to be one of the best platforms and products and programs they have. So definitely check us out lifestyle extremely fighting January 14 on fubo. TV.
Nestor Aparicio 07:33
What do you love about MMA and what got you involved? Did you box when you were a kid?
Shawne Merriman 07:37
I did I did. So I had professional boxers obviously being there from PG County, the DC area. That’s one thing you better know how to do is that’s that’s the box and the time that I grew up. So we had a lot of professional boxes in my neighborhood and stuff like that. So I grew up naturally boxing, but I got into MMA. coincidentally enough through Jay Glazer over to Fox Sports. He actually introduced me to the sport with Randy Couture. It’s my first day training and I was training with those two. And it was one of those things where I easily transitioned because of my football background. And because we having a bit of a boxing background growing up as well. Then I just gravitated to the sport. And every year I just use it as a another discipline to help me become a better football player. So it’s a great sport. It’s been around for a long time. It’s going to be around for a very long time. And it’s still growing.
Nestor Aparicio 08:32
Well, the gross parts the amazing part, right? Like I said, this is my 32nd year. I have a fox background, Kenny Albert and I did the show together to begin with 31 years ago when he was doing hockey games here in Baltimore with the skip jacks and Barry trots and all that stuff. So you know, the background and boxing I wrestled in high school. I love professional wrestling. I love when superstar grand bled out down at the arena back in the day and valuable. So I mean, I’m not at first to it. The violent part of it, as I’ve gotten older has made me much more in what we talked about with the football game on Monday night, right? Just the fact that people get hurt. It’s real. And there’s a part of that that made me shy away from it. But I think publicly over the last 20 years what’s happened to boxing and what’s become of MMA where it is literally mainstream and I don’t know that when John was here 20 years ago talking about it or when you were still playing football and and training that you thought it could be this mainstream certainly Dana White and investment all the money that’s been put into this and the network’s but this I don’t even know what the Big Four are anymore, right when you and I were kids baseball, football, basketball, hockey, maybe a little soccer here there NASCAR, whatever it is horse racing, but MMA has moved up the charts from something that wasn’t even sanctioned to something that is still to this point, one of the growing sports
Shawne Merriman 09:56
it is now and I’ll tell you why. It was very unfamiliar to, to a lot of fight, you know communities, right? We’ve been watching boxing for 100 years now. And one of the things why MMA has kind of surpassed boxing in that sense is because the best fight the best, and there’s so many disciplines, things you’d have to learn obviously I grew up a little bit boxing, but I started to learn Muay Thai, I started to learn a little bit of jujitsu, and it’s just so many different disciplines of the sport, is why it’s growing, you get so many different backgrounds, whether it’s guys coming from Brazil or Europe or Africa now you have champions that are from from Nigeria. And so it’s become such a global sport, but it’s not even as quarter as big as it’s going to be here in the next five or 10 years. Because it’s still opening up in multiple countries.
Nestor Aparicio 10:48
For you and your investment and involvement in this and being involved. fubo stepping out into this office, it’s one thing to be a fan of it. It’s another thing to be financially invested. What made you get involved in this and and I guess financially, just to step out, say I want to own a piece of this, because you couldn’t own the NFL right?
Shawne Merriman 11:09
Well, I cannot own the whole NFL but you could possibly on a team one day, which is not off the table for me. But you know, for me, I can’t get involved anything I’m not passionate about you know, even on my playing days over the offseason, I will go and train with all these guys you know Tito Ortiz chocolate day, I will train with all of them during the all seasons. And I just grown his love his passion for the sport. Now on the on the business side of where I am now. It’s really promoting in branding and marketing and getting the eyeballs what I’ve been accustomed to doing for the last decade and a half, you know, I played on the in the biggest sport in the country. You know, I’ve been able to work within the NFL and with the chargers in several different other organizations to understand how production works, to present to understand how operations works, and bringing in you know, key people to help you know, grow the brand and lights out for me is just really assembling of the 15 plus years I have of experience and coming from the NFL background understanding how TV works and understanding how fans this whole thing with me. I don’t know if you follow me on social media now but I talked back and forth a lot defense I’m always interactive. I love spending time with the fans. And when you are even when you’re growing a business, the fans will tell you if they like it. They will tell you about viewership they’ll tell you about attendance and tickets. That’s the part of the business I love the most because the fans really at the end of the day they drive. They drive your business.
Nestor Aparicio 12:38
Shawn Merriman is our guest. He’s always a turbo. You’re doing like data you’ll do you’ll do coach again next year for
Shawne Merriman 12:43
oh, yeah, right when we first my first anniversary coming up next year. All right.
Nestor Aparicio 12:47
So everybody gets a chance to contribute. If you find some coats rolling around, you can’t know come to Goodwill and our partners here. You want to do some good with Sean, take him down there in November next year as well, because he does that each and every year. As far as locally and you being involved locally and you’re local. You still live around here. Where are you right now?
Shawne Merriman 13:04
I’m in I’m in Las Vegas, I have a you have a couple of you a couple of different holes, but my main residence is in Las Vegas. My all my family still back there in PG County in Washington DC. For I would say 80% of my family, they’re all back there so I can never not come back home. I still work with University of Maryland a lot, you know, talk to coach Locksley probably every other week.
Nestor Aparicio 13:26
About that man age. I mean, talk to me about that. I mean, and looked a little uncomfortable there for a couple of minutes Sean
Shawne Merriman 13:31
you know, sometimes we got to please Oh sponsors man I’m in the side of the business where you gotta keep keep those sponsors happy
Nestor Aparicio 13:39
but they have no idea what you’re talking about. I have no idea
Shawne Merriman 13:46
you know, it’s um, I’m just really happy you know, for him for sure. But the program and where the University of Maryland is going and you know what, this whole NFL thing we’ve been talking about it a lot. We have the best talent and I say we because I’m from PG County. So that DMV area we have the best talent in my opinion in the country. And if everyone wants to stay home, we can go and compete with anybody in Florida, Texas, California. Anyway, we will be to compete for a national championship. And then I L and this this, this business side of things kind of took a wild twist and turn on what a lot of these guys can do. And so you want to go out and compete because you have to and make sure that you know some of your top players and top recruits latch on and they get the best options possible because you want these guys their point blank.
Nestor Aparicio 14:35
Well, it’s the wild west right thanks for change. I told McMillan on the basketball side talking about things in College Park, former congressman. And it’s just, they’re there. It feels like this has happened quickly. And it feels like there are going to be those with Justin those who don’t adjust and you’re not going to get the right rules anymore. And certainly for you be one of those guys gladdie ating on Saturdays before Sunday. As you get paid a lot of money in the league, you went out and get it for not a whole lot, you know, an education for sure, but not certainly the value and other guys, like, you didn’t go to the NFL, that there’s now an opportunity for 17 1819 year old version of you to have a pizza shop, put some money in your pocket before you get to the NFL.
Shawne Merriman 15:21
Well, I’ve always thought that that should be the case. You know, the universities and the people around the university everybody making a lot of money. And, you know, the players, the student athletes aren’t really getting a part of it. So I’ve always thought that that should be a part of it. I think at some point in time, they’re gonna have to start putting a cap or change in the process and how it’s done. Or else you just gonna have you know, you could have a lot of you know, younger kids being influenced to make decisions when they’re not actually ready to make those decisions just yet and put themselves in a bind. And so that’s the only thing that’s the only downfall things I think that needs to change because you know, some of these things getting thrown around and got the guys are not really able to look at the process yet what the outcome by making these decisions. I mean, you know, it’s 1718 years old 19 Um, you’re still trying to figure life out you really are so you know, this all these things coming at you you have to make the best decision for your future not just a decision what’s going to make you happier this instinct because of you seeing the transfer portal all these things happening you know some of these guys have to understand that is not going to always work out for you. It’s not I mean it might look good by looks shiny and might look great, but it will not always work out for you. So I think the process at some point in time will will slow down or change a bit. Shawn Merriman
Nestor Aparicio 16:43
is our guest promote your flights again and tell everybody where they can find him and, and how often is as lights out producing a fight and fight nights.
Shawne Merriman 16:52
We’ll have a fight every month, month and a half or so, you know, back to back. And we have a ton of fighters just all over the country really just trying to get on these cars. January 14 fubo Lights Out extreme fight and we’re back. Check this out. 7pm Pacific to nought to 10pm on the east coast we start at 10pm So check us out footballs watch football TV lifestyle extremely fine. January 14, Saturday, it’s going to be a big one.
Nestor Aparicio 17:19
You find out Vegas.
Shawne Merriman 17:21
Vegas. This next one we have here coming up. It’s in Riverside, California. We’ll be in Arizona, Bakersfield and San Diego after that we got a few days lined up.
Nestor Aparicio 17:31
All right West Coast promotion, as they say and that Super Bowl coming out that way soon too. So all sorts of things going on. We’ll be out in Arizona in a couple of weeks as well. Shawn always good to visit with you appreciate all you guys do locally here and when Josh reached me said you want to marry me to talk about the MMS for sure, man, let’s talk some Terps here, even basketball when I booked you the chirps look great basketball, they lose the Michigan but that I think that the basketball program as much as you can from the football side, there’s been a new infusion of oxygen for the basketball side. It’s kind of exciting as I see it. It is
Shawne Merriman 18:06
and I’m really happy for the men’s basketball team and you’re right there’s there’s a newfound energy that they have. There’s a new boss and that boss is like back when we were playing there and the some of the teams we had so they have that type of blood right now.
Nestor Aparicio 18:20
They brought it back to start the season. Alright, so I’ll take care of yourself. Shawn Merriman, I find fights out all fubo Lights Out fights, and of course I’m sure he would run around the Superbowl and a couple of weeks as well. If you see him in College Park guy looks like Shawn Merriman Dan, that’s him usually back here as well. I am Nestor. We are wn sta and 5070, Towson Baltimore. We’re going to Maryland crabcake tour back out on the road next week starting things at GNA Coney Island hot dog and Whitemarsh on Thursday, it’s all brought to you by the Maryland lottery in conjunction with our friends at Goodwill and I even have my bucket hat back. The Friends of Costas gave me this back from window nation 866 90 nation we are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. And we never stop talking Baltimore positive