PHOENIX – And on the third day, Marshawn Lynch turned into a scold.
Having performed his first two required appearances at Super Bowl XLIX media sessions as theatre of the absurd – in effect, repeating the same response to virtually every question, often with delight – the Seattle Seahawks running back let his disdain bubble over in his getaway Thursday.
“Hey look, I mean, all week I told y’all what’s up,” Lynch began during the players’ final availability. “And for some reason y’all continue to come back and do the same thing that y’all did. I don’t know what story y’all trying to get out of me. I don’t know what image y’all 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 that I look in the face – my family that I love – that’s all that really matter to me. So y’all can go make up whatever y’all want to make up because I don’t say enough for y’all to go and put anything out on me.”
Lynch had been threatened with a fine of up to $500,000 if he didn’t fulfill the NFL’s mandate that all Super Bowl players be available at media sessions. His minimum participation apparently passed muster with the league, even after a complaint from the Professional Football Writers Association.
“I’ll come to y’all event. Y’all shove cameras and microphones down my throat,” Lynch went on. “But when I’m at home in my environment, I don’t see y’all. But y’all mad at me. And if you ain’t mad at me, then what y’all here for?”
Lynch did briefly allow that his foils were trying to do a job.
“I’m here preparing for a game,” Lynch continued. “And y’all want to ask me these questions, which is understandable. I could get down with that. But I told y’all. I’m not about to say nothing. So for the reminder of my, what’s that, three minutes? Because I’m here I’m available for y’all. I’m here, I’m available for y’all. I talked. All of my requirements are fulfilled. For the next three minutes, I’ll just be looking at y’all the way that y’all looking at me. Thank you.”
He did sprinkle in some “shout-outs” during those final three minutes – to his hometown of Oakland, to his Seahawks teammates, to his foundation.
Lynch once again wore a “Beast Mode” cap from his clothing line, which could be considered a breach of NFL policy that players not wear unsanctioned apparel – though the cap is made by New Era, a league partner.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll on Wednesday wouldn’t bite when it was suggested Lynch is missing an opportunity to communicate with fans.
“I think that you’re seeing a demonstration of a guy being himself,” Carroll said, “and not being what everybody wants him to be.”
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