Marshawn Lynch spoke for a lot of players when he used the same answer for all 29 questions hurled his way on Super Bowl media day. The beast mode phenom stated plainly and truthfully, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.” No matter the question, no matter the reporter, the answer stayed the same for the four minutes and 51 seconds that Lynch was required to stay at the podium. It was a great few minutes of television and to be fair, Lynch warned the reporters around him that he planned on using the same answer to each question, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.” Of course that didn’t stop the media members from trying.
There are tons of athletes who don’t want to talk to the media before and after games. It is OK for them when things are going good, but after a bad game, who wants to share their feelings with a microphone in their grill? Marshawn Lynch doesn’t want to talk to the media at all, ever, no matter if things have gone well or not. He simply is not that kind of guy. Some people are not wired to be all smiles for the camera. Russell Wilson is great with the media as is Tom Brady. Lynch just wants to be left alone.
Lynch’s statement also spoke for every regular worker out there. When we are at work, most people are here so they won’t get fined. Our fines come in the form of missing a day’s pay if we don’t show up to do a job we may not be thrilled about. Or if we don’t go to work for a few days we get a big fine in the form of missing multiple checks after we are fired. You think the guy riding on the back of a garbage truck would be there if not for the threat of not getting paid for that day? Of course not, so he just goes through the motions. That’s all Lynch did.
Some people are mad and think that Marshawn Lynch should still get fined even though he fulfilled his obligations. He did make a mockery of the whole process like he has done in the past with locker room interviews. But what is the league going to do, mandate using a certain amount of different words or face a penalty? Or better yet, should the NFL hire a few writers to put out predetermined answers for guys like Lynch? Ridiculous of course. The man does not want to talk so let him be. Besides that fact, he got the NFL plenty of attention with his answers. That is the goal of having players speak to the media anyway. It grows the league by getting exposure for the players.
Anyone in the media who has a problem with the way Lynch went about his business at media day should check themselves. He gave everyone fair warning not to waste their time. There were plenty of other Seahawks available that like to talk. Richard Sherman is a very good athlete to interview and loves to talk. Russell Wilson gives honest answers and is a great story coming from out of nowhere to be one of the most successful young QBs in the game. The Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett had a stack of great lines that would have been more interesting than Lynch’s literal one liner. Not to mention Gronk was in the house as well. He may be the biggest personality of any player in the Super Bowl.
I get it. If the NFL did not enforce fines, then too many players would just ignore the media altogether. The athletes’ lives would be a bit easier and it would give them more free time. But the fans would miss out on special moments like Russell Wilson’s interview after his comeback against Green Bay in the NFC Title Game. I also loved hearing the very pissed off Aaron Rodgers after his team’s collapse in the same game, as he had to take the podium. No fun for Rodgers, but riveting for fans like myself.
The NFL benefited from the sideshow that was Marshawn Lynch on media day. I’m sure there were several mentions of the one liner on late night shows. Youtube has to be full of parodies of his four minutes and 51 seconds of saying nothing much. Even Katy Perry, who will provide halftime entertainment for the Super Bowl, used Lynch’s line at her presser this week. More people know who Marshawn Lynch is as a result of his being there only to avoid a fine. More casual fans care about the game if only slightly. There are 100 thousand people out there that recited that line this week that couldn’t name either coach in the big game. That is exposure.
Lynch met his obligations and instead of a fine I think he deserves a bonus for his media day exploits. That’s right, a bonus. His session was the most talked about, so maybe the NFL should scratch him a check and institute a bonus system for future media days. The player with the most Twitter mentions or Youtube views gets a $10K bonus for entertaining the masses. That’s exactly what Mr. Beast Mode did this week. Are you not entertained?