Both the Seattle Seahawks’ running back and the media deserve criticism for the way things have gone down these past few days.
At this point it should be obvious to everyone involved that Marshawn Lynch is “just ’bout that action, boss.”
Everyone in sports knows that the reclusive running back hates talking to the media. In case he had not made that abundantly clear, Lynch has pulled no punches in putting that sentiment on full display since players on both the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots have been required to speak with reporters as the football world prepares for Super Bowl XLIX.
First came, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined,” on Tuesday, the big game’s first official media day. Sitting in front of reporters for the minimum five minutes required of all players, Lynch said the phrase over and over again. He might as well have been flipping the bird to the reporters, Roger Goodell and the entire National Football League.
The next day Lynch provided some continuity to the story he began to tell the day before, this time repeating, “You know why I’m here.”
Thursday saw Lynch provide some much more colorful answers, though nothing that even remotely answered a question that was asked of him. He started the session off confused.
“If you all ain’t mad at me, then what you all here for,” he asked, shocked that reporters were still trying to get something out of him.
Why on Earth they were still trying is actually quite a mystery, as Lynch, as one would assume, gave them nothing. He did make sure to acknowledge a few important people though before his cell phone alarm went off to notify him that he had met his time requirement.
“Shout out Oakland, California,” he said. “Shout out Westbrook… Shout out my teammates… Shout out to my real Africans out there.”
By now people have likely taken one side or another. There is the ‘leave Marshawn Lynch alone’ take and then there is the side that deems the superstar to be an arrogant prick.
In defense of the latter, Lynch has been anything but graceful in his handling of the media. NFL rules stipulate that players speak with the media, yet all Lynch does is put himself on loop and repeat nonsensical words over and over again. Just a few weeks ago he answered every postgame question with “Thanks for asking.”
That was it.
At the risk of fines, Lynch does take the time to show his face to the media. So why not say something somewhat meaningful instead of wasting everyone’s time? After all, the media drives sports and by some correlation, has played a hand in the fame and success Lynch and countless others have experienced. The NFL, or any other professional sports league for that matter, would not enjoy the prosperity it does if not for the media.
However, like previously stated, everyone should know that Lynch could care less about all of that. He does not like talking to the media and unless you are one of a select few reporters, he is not going to talk to you. That is why it is such a shame to have watched countless professional journalists play his game these past few days.
Asking Lynch where you can buy the hat he is wearing on his head is not equivalent to asking a question with journalistic value. It is simply a reporter trying to get the best of the guy. It is him trying to trick Lynch into giving a concrete answer. Will anyone care about the information provided?
No, but hey, perhaps that reporter just wants to give himself a pat on the back for getting the best of Lynch.
It was not just that one reporter inquiring about where he could find the latest Beast Mode merchandise. Every one of these reporters that have been gathering around Lynch these past few days have accomplished nothing, a result they knew was coming well before No. 24 stepped up to the microphone. Rather than spend time on other players, the media has made a story out of Lynch refusing to give them a story.
There is a significant difference between a journalist pressing for a question that needs answering and a journalist trying to put somebody in their place. Unfortunately, the latter has been the norm these past few days in Arizona as reporter after reporter chooses to make a mockery of themselves.
Again, all of this is not to say that Lynch is an angel, because many would agree that he has been nothing short of a jerk these past few days. However, people also need to realize that the media looks just as bad as they continue to pass off pestering as journalism.
If there is any actual story to be found here it is that there is a professional way to go about doing things in every walk of life.
In this case, both parties are choosing to do the opposite.