Thursday, January 29, 2015

Marshawn Lynch speaks to the media

As most of you know the Super Bowl is this Sunday. I am betting (not literally of course since I don't make enough money to lose any) that the Seattle Seahawks will defeat the New England Patriots. If Seattle does win there's no doubt that their starting running back Marshawn Lynch will be key to their victory. If Seattle loses or gets blown out (assuming New England didn't cheat) there's a pretty good chance that Marshawn Lynch either didn't have a good game, was hurt, or otherwise removed from the game plan. He's that dominant. Known as Beast Mode, Lynch has a very aggressive commanding running style. There's a few times I've seen him dragging defenders down the field, simply refusing to be tackled. He's a very exciting player in a time where the passing game has tended to outshine the running game. But Mr. Lynch has become just as well known for his dislike for talking in public, or rather, his dislike for talking in public to reporters. His teammates have consistently said that he's a great guy. One of the most extroverted and verbally demonstrative Seahawks, cornerback Richard Sherman, has said (paraphrasing) that asking Lynch to go out and answer interview questions and/or verbally banter with reporters is akin to asking a reporter to play linebacker and tackle Adrian Peterson. Nonetheless, the NFL is adamant about ensuring that the media has access to star players. The NFL has fined players, including Marshawn Lynch, for avoiding interviews or cutting them short. Although I suppose a $10,000 fine won't hurt someone who's making millions those fines can add up. 

So Lynch stopped skipping interviews. Though he attended interviews he limited himself STRICTLY to what the NFL required. He answered reporters' questions but used the exact same phrase over and over ("Thank you for asking") no matter what. The NFL said he had to answer questions for at least five minutes so he set an alarm on his phone and "answered" questions for exactly five minutes and not one second longer. You would think people would get the hint but this just continued a game of "Let's ask Lynch a question today just because" and showed the limits of the NFL's or the media's power to compel someone to engage verbally. On sports radio shows arguments have raged about whether the NFL is right to attempt to make star players speak (it's good for business and was apparently negotiated in the collective bargaining agreement) or if this is just a pushy, entitled and uncaring NFL/media complex trying to force an individual to do something he's not good at and has no interest in doing. As someone who is introverted and generally only opens up verbally to people I know very well or like a great deal I tend to support Lynch. On the other hand he's paid a lot of money so what is so bad about answering some, admittedly mostly silly, questions. Well yesterday Lynch did have a little more to say besides "Have a blessed day" or "That's a great question". Check it out below and share your thoughts.


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