PHOENIX — Well, at least Marshawn Lynch was honest during his brief appearance at Super Bowl XLIX Media Day.
Verbose? Hardly, but Lynch made no effort to hide the fact that he was there only because he didn’t want to pay another fine to the NFL.
In recent years, the Seahawks running back has become almost as famous for his standoffs with the media as for his on-field performance, so the biggest question coming into Media Day was what he would or wouldn’t say, presuming he even showed up. All players are required to attend and be available, so not showing up or not talking almost certainly would have led to a big fine for Lynch, who already has paid $100,000 this year for violating the league’s media policy.
Lynch did show up and talk to a huge throng of reporters for just under five minutes, but he didn’t say much other than to repeatedly explain his presence in the most blunt way possible.
Lynch sat down and set a timer on his phone, then told everyone in front of him, “Hey, I’m just here so I don’t get fined. So ya’ll can sit here and ask all the questions you all want to. I’m going to answer with the same answer. So y’all can shoot if y’all please.”
Over the next four-plus minutes, Lynch said some variation of “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” 29 times, only diverting from that script a couple of times, once to say hi to center Max Unger, who was at the podium next to him, and once when someone threw him a bag of Skittles, at which point Lynch blew her a kiss and said, “You’re sexy, too.”
Even former cornerback and current NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders, who got the famous, “I’m just ‘bout that action, boss” line out of Lynch at Media Day last year, came up empty, though Lynch did change things up slightly for Sanders, saying “I’m just here so I won’t get fined, boss.”
Lynch was courteous enough to walk down from the podium and pick up a microphone he accidentally knocked off the table in front of him, but after returning to his seat, he looked at his phone, said “Time,” and exited stage left.
Whether that will satisfy his media requirement in the eyes of the NFL remains to be seen, but Lynch at least deserves credit for his honesty, if not his openness.
Herald Writer John Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org