Shawne Merriman sure knows how to storm off a set.
Actually, it wasn't really a storm at all. More like a drizzle -- a very polite and friendly drizzle.
And that made what happened on Tuesday's episode of ESPN's "Highly Questionable" all the more awkward -- and entertaining.
In a segment that was taped last month, Merriman was on the show to promote his Lights On Foundation's annual coat drive. The subject of his difficult childhood -- during which he was homeless at times due to two separate house fires -- came up, and hosts Bomani Jones and Dan LeBatard asked several follow up questions on the topic.
The now-retired San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills linebacker didn't seem to have a problem with the line of questioning and gave honest, thoughtful answers every time. Until he suddenly started messing with his earpiece, then got up and left mid-interview, saying "All right, thanks guys. I appreciate it. All right," while giving a slight wave.
That left Jones and LeBatard just sitting there speechless for a good 20 seconds before the show finally went to commercial.
On LeBatard's Nov. 21 radio show -- apparently the same day the Merriman segment was recorded -- the two TV hosts discussed (warning: link goes to page with an offensive comment just below) the incident in detail. They also revealed that an earlier part of the discussion had focused on Merriman's relationship with ex-girlfriend Tila Tequila.
The hosts also said that Merriman's publicist had been yelling at their TV producer for hours, presumably over the Tequila questions, and came to the conclusion that the publicist must have somehow gotten into the former player's earpiece and told him to end the interview.
Merriman certainly didn't seem to take any of it too seriously, judging from his Twitter account Tuesday:
And apparently Jones is still befuddled by it all.
i don’t know why merriman got up, but if you say “i lost two homes in a fire,” more questions are coming. we weren’t wrong for that.— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) December 10, 2013
Hopefully he and LeBatard still have those priceless looks on their faces.