Seattle’s running back Marshawn Lynch has no problem running through, running over, and/or stiff-arming opponents (or like this famous run when he did all three) on Sunday afternoons. It’s his reluctancy to verbally engage with members of the media that has inaccurately given Marshawn a bad rap, according to his teammates.
We’ll get to his teammates testimonials in a minute. First, lets see what Lynch did to stir up such a ruckus.
For starters, this interview with the NFL Network’s Deion Sanders at Tuesday’s Super Bowl Media Day:
— NFL (@nfl) January 28, 2014
As the majority of the Seattle Seahawks fulfilled their NFL mandated duties by attending and participating in Wednesday’s media availability session, Lynch mentally withdrew from interactions with reporters on Wednesday, this time with the help of teammate Michael Robinson:
“He just wants to play ball, boss!” Michael Robinson takes over Marshawn Lynch’s media availability. MUST-SEE: http://t.co/YO7667k2E0
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 30, 2014
And on Thursday Lynch spoke so softly you could barely hear him, even if you were only five feet away from him. He also didn’t provide an answer longer than two or three sentences. Lynch did reveal that he was excited to to put his media involvement behind him, saying “It’s going to be good to get back to football. Very good.”
While Lynch didn’t disclose too much information Wednesday, his teammates were less shy when it came to answering questions about the seven year running back out of the University of California.
“He’s a great guy, great teammate, always supportive, I don’t think it gets better than him,” Pro Bowl left offensive tackle Russell Okung said of Lynch. “When you got a guy like that fighting for every single inch, you’re determined to be out there with him,” Okung added.
Okung was far from the only Seahawk to show Marshawn some love on Wednesday.
“Marshawn’s like a brother to me,” rookie running back Christine Michael said on Lynch’s behalf. “He’s a guy that goes to work every day and I look up to that, I’m motivated by that,” Michael added.
Starting middle linebacker Bobby Wagner defended Lynch’s choice of not wanting to speak up, saying “If he doesn’t want to talk, you can’t force him into talking. You’re not gonna get anything out of him [except for] frustrating him.”
While the three aforementioned teammates of Lynch sung high praises of Marshawn, it’s defensive tackle Brandon Mebane that has known him the longest. As teammates at the University of California, Mebane reminisced on his days with Lynch as a Golden Bear. “I met Marshawn back in my freshman year, when he was still in high school (Lynch had already declared to the university at this point). “So he used to come up there probably about every other week with a big trash bag, stuffing them up with shoes and stuff to take back to them guys in high school,” Mebane remembered.
It seems Marshawn has made plenty of friends in Seattle’s locker room. Just because he chose to stay on the down low on the biggest stage of sports, he has garnered the negative eye of sports journalists across the globe. Plenty of articles were published today about Marshawn regarding his lack of talking, yet I find it refreshingly honest that Lynch chooses to stay quiet. It’s a great change of pace from the boring, non-authentic interviews that athletes have been trained to give by PR staffs across the country.
The worst thing a Seahawk said to me today when referencing Lynch came from fellow running back Chris Michael. I asked Michael if he ever received any of Marshawn’s Skittles, and he said “That’s one thing he doesn’t do, he doesn’t share his skittles man.”
Seattle’s locker room is behind the commonly misunderstood, Skittle eating, beast-mode engaging running back. Hopefully the general public is too.
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