All they want is a story, and they will do anything to get it.
Much has been made about how Marshawn Lynch has handled himself during this Super Bowl media frenzy. On Tuesday, Lynch came to the stand to speak to the media for his required hour-long stint. He only spoke (if you can call it that) for about 7 minutes before he stepped down. On Wednesday, he did pretty much the same thing. Both days, Lynch repeatedly mentioned the only reason he was there was so he would not get fined.
The only reporter to get a real one-on-one with Lynch was the Hall of Fame Cornerback Deion Sanders. You could tell by the way Mr. Primetime approached Lynch that he knew he may not get a lot out of the Pro Bowl Running Back. For all the energy and character Deion Sander has, he handled the interview very well. He spoke slow and softly and got to the point. He complimented Beast Mode and spoke to a level Lynch could handle.
It seemed like Lynch only gave the time of day to the HOF’er because of his rich history in the league and his respect by many people associated with the NFL.
Driving home from work on Tuesday I was listening to San Diego Sports radio station. One of the broadcasters reaction was one to think about. He was relating Marshawn’s attitude to that of Ricky Williams back in the day. Ricky Williams had an anxiety problem with the media. Part of this may have been attributed to his recluse way’s of smoking marijuana and wanting to keep to himself. But other’s argued it was a true mental condition. Regardless of any of this, Williams was an outstanding back who brought it on game day whether or not he spoke to the media.
There are other athletes that have anxiety problems with the media like this. One that I can think of off the top of my head is Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Zack Greinke. Apparently, the pitcher has an anxiety problem where he rarely speaks with the media. This can be understandable, some people just do not react to the cameras and media’s as others do. Those here in San Diego might remember Padres’ Short Stop Kahlil Green who was the same way. He had a great deal of talent, but just could not handle the media. Even in a small market like San Diego, Green could just not take in the media. He was a talented player who let a lot of his potential go to waste in the eyes of many fans. Green was the type of guy that just wanted to go out their and play baseball as if he was still in Little League, not answer questions to reporters.
But is this Marshawn Lynch’s condition? At the time I was listening to this broadcaster on the radio I had not actually seen or heard any of Lynch’s interviews from Media Day. To me, Lynch’s approach is similar to that of Kahlil Green’s. Not necessarily the anxiety, but just the eagerness to be on the field. Green did have some kind of anxiety problem, but he really just wanted to go out there and play ball. That is what it seems like to me for Lynch.
Like I said before, it seemed as if Deion Sanders handled his interview very well with Lynch. He was straight to the point and did not allow for any filler. He seemed to make Marshawn feel comfortable which allowed him to open up a little more. Sander’s even asked Lynch if he was ‘shy’. Maybe Lynch is a little anxious when it comes to the media, but it seems to me that he is really just a football guy. He just wants to keep focused on the game in front of him and make it happen on game day. He is very unselfish, and gives credit to all of his teammates.
On Wednesday, Day 2 of the Media Day, Lynch approached the media the same way. He spoke for about 6 or 7 minutes with really nothing to say. Lynch’s blocking fullback Michael Robinson had to cut in and answer questions for Lynch. He did it with humor, but also in a way to rescue Lynch.
This can be peculiar to some. Some players, i.e. Richard Sherman, suck up Media Day. It is a way to endorse your product and make a character and name for yourself among the media, country, and fans a like. You make people fall in love with your character and that creates more hype and buzz around your name. Furthermore, this allows for more sponsors and money to be made. But, is that what this game is about?
The only person that is really hurting this week is Lynch’s agent. Marshawn Lynch may have acted ‘immature’ by the way he handled the media, but he is an old school guy. He is here to play the game and win it. He is not here to talk nonsense with a bunch of reporters when he only has one thing on his mind — winning the Super Bowl. Some reporters mentioned to him “don’t you owe it to your fans to talk?” Sure, maybe he does. But from what I have heard, fans do not care. It is part of the character of Marshawn Lynch, of “Beast Mode.” It is a whole mindset and lifestyle. He is a no-nonsense kind of guy and wants to focus his energy on the game.
Some have said that he was not like this when he was in Buffalo. This is a good argument for why it is not so much an anxiety thing. Honestly, before this season I do not think any one even cared or thought about his presence in the media. It seems as if this year, Lynch made a conscious decision to step away from the media and focus on his career. Lets take a look a little further into that concept.
In 2013, he had his 2nd most attempts and rushing yards. Also, in previous years he had a lot of injury problems, especially with the Bills. This was only the 2nd time in his entire career he started all 16 games (19 including playoffs/SB), which is a career high. He also tied for his most rushing touchdowns of his career (12, also had 12 in 2011). Furthermore, he had the 2nd most receptions of his career, most receiving yards of his career, and most receiving touchdowns of his career.
To me, the guy is trying to focus on his career, and it looks like he has been successful. If I was a Seahawks fan, I probably would not care that much about his media day. So what? — he does not want to talk to the media. He wants to play. He wants to focus on the game and help put his team in position to win Super Bowl XLVIII.
In the end, anxiety or not, the media is blowing this up. Reporters are making a huge deal about Marshawn Lynch not talking to the media. Why does it even matter? Why is this such a big deal? Last time I remembered, the Media does not play on Sundays. More power to Marshawn Lynch and keep that Beast Mode coming.