Marshawn Lynch was as revealing in his final act of media obligations at Super Bowl 49 as he’s been in two seasons.
And all he wanted to say was: “Why?”
Why are all the nation’s and world’s sports media obsessed with chronicling him not wanting to talk? Of saying nothing if and when he does?
That’s what the Seahawks’ star running back asked a pack of cameras, recorders and curiosity chasers as he sat down on a platform inside a tent on the sprawling campus of the Arizona Grand Resort hotel Thursday morning.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Olympian
Wearing another “Beast Mode” brand cap from New Era that the NFL apparently is considering fining him for wearing, he talked slowly and incredulously for about 2 minutes as to why this is all such a big deal.
“I mean, all week, I done told y’all what’s up, and for some reason y’all continue to come back,” Lynch said, an extended variation of “I’m here so I won’t fined” from Tuesday’s media day and “You know why I’m here” from Wednesday.
“I don’t know what story y’all are trying to get outta me. I don’t know what kind of image y’all are trying to portray of me. But it don’t matter what y’all think, what y’all say about me. When I go home at night, the same people I look in the face, my family and those that I love …”
He smiled broadly and shrugged.
“…that’s all that matters to me,” Lynch continued. “So y’all can make up whatever you want to make up, because I don’t say enough for y’all to put anything out on me. But I’ll come to y’all’s event. Y’all shove cameras and microphones down my throat. … When I am home, in my environment, I don’t see y’all. But y’all mad at me. If y’all not mad at me, then what y’all here for?
“I got nothin’ for y’all. I already told you that, so you should know that. But y’all will sit here like y’all are now, continue doing the same thing. I am sitting here trying to prepare for a game and y’all want to ask me all these questions — which is understandable. I can live with that. But I told y’all: I’m not about to say nothin’.
Then he looked down his phone again.
“So for the remainder of my 3 minutes, because I’m here, I’m available for you — I’m here, I’m available for y’all — I done talked,” he said. “All of my requirements are filled. So now for these next 3 minutes, I’m just going to be looking at y’all the way that y’all’s lookin’ at me.
Apparently five was the magic number this week for Lynch. Fulfill 5 minutes in front of the zoo patrons staring into his exhibit, and he was free to leave without the NFL fining him for not participating in the players’ three mandatory media sessions before the Super Bowl.
Reporters tried a different tack Thursday, showing off their creativity.
“Who’s the best player on your team?” one asked.
“All of them,” Lynch replied.
“Say something in Spanish,” a reporter from a Spanish-language television network said.
“Hola,” Lynch deadpanned back.
It was all a farce. Again. Lynch continues to, on his and only his terms, mock the league’s policy requiring him to be available to the media.
As for this unsubstantiated notion from ESPN and NFL Network reports in October that the Seahawks are tired of Lynch’s “act”:
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll talked Thursday about how John Schneider — the general manager who said last week of Lynch “I kind of love his act” — has been so brilliant building a young, fluid roster. That keeps Seattle able to re-sign quarterback Russell Wilson likely this offseason (to a contract worth perhaps $20 million per season) while keeping the core of the team around for a while.
Carroll said Schneider has worked remarkably to “take care of our own guys. … And Marshawn’s a big part of that.”
It was the first player Carroll mentioned.
THOMAS GETS DRUG TESTED
This month Richard Sherman said a certainty he’s learned in this league is that if a player has an extraordinary game he can expect a supposedly random drug test from the league the next day.
At the Super Bowl, they don’t even wait for the game.
“I said my shoulder was a 10,” Thomas tweeted Thursday morning. “Wake up the next morning and I have a blood test for HGH .. League office distraction.”
Thomas has said this week he’s been surprised how well the left shoulder he separated in the NFC title game Jan. 18 and played through has healed. He credited the constant work by the Seahawks’ medical training staff. Though coach Pete Carroll said last week that the team may pace Thomas’ work this week, the All-Pro safety wasn’t limited in practice yesterday.
“GREAT DAY OF PRACTICE”
For the second straight day, all Seahawks fully participated in the closed practice at Arizona State University for an hour and 28 minutes. The last 58 minutes was spent inside ASU’s bubble indoor field, per the pool report of Peter King from NBC Sports.
King reported Seattle “a spirited second practice of Super Bowl week with a tremendous individual play by nickel back Jeremy Lane, who knocked a long pass away from wideout Bryan Walters on the final play of the day, causing a score of defensive teammates to sprint on the field and mob Lane inside the Arizona State Sun Devils football practice bubble.
“We had a great day today,’’ coach Pete Carroll said. “Really happy with the effort today.”
The Seahawks practice again Friday at ASU. The forecast is for light rain.