I’m Just Here So I Don’t Get Fined
By now, if you’re at all interested in the Super Bowl, you’ve seen or heard about Seattle Seahawk’s running back Marshawn Lynch and his media day posture. With each question he just answered, “I’m just here so I don’t get fined.” It’s consistent with his stonewalling reporters all season and last season and the season before that. He might say something like, “thank you for asking. Next question?” and then when that question is asked, “thank you for asking. Next question?” For a reporter it’s has be mind-numbingly frustrating. And I see the media backlash on-line.
“It’s not funny.”
“It’s part of your job as an athlete.”
“The guy is an ass.”
ESPN rabble-rouser and truth teller Stephen A Smith even poked the Beast, “Marshawn Lynch, he saddens me, to be quite honest with you…incredibly selfish.” And Deadspin.com found this.
I’m good with this. It actually provides a storyline. Maybe reporters don’t like it, because they have a job to do and they see it as personal failure they couldn’t get a Lynch quote. Or, maybe they’re not used to people stiff-arming the mic.
But, who cares about a meaningless quote? Our job (as reporters, anchors, hosts) is to tell stories. He’s giving us ammunition to do just that. Would we rather he say, “The Patriots are a good team, we’ll try our best?” Not a chance. It’s not authentic, genuine or revealing of his personality. It likely wouldn’t even be edited for playback.
Most assuredly we all realize by now that Marshawn’s plan is working. He’s getting more media attention by not talking. Well, actually he does talk. He did a Skittles press conference, he appeared on First Take, he sang for Entertainment Tonight and talked about his charity, and last year he was interviewed by a Japanese reporter about his favorite candies. We just don’t like they he doesn’t want to answer our questions.
It’s also worth noting that as panelists chastise his stalemate with the media, they’re running b-roll of his highlights and rattling off his stats. Everyone is being reminded what a stud this guy is – everywhere. Selfish? Maybe. But, really there are few pro-athletes who aren’t driven by ego, fame, a trophy or a ring.
And frankly gang, there was a naked guy in a barrel conducting interviews with players this week at media day. Where is the outrage to the NFL for the mockery it is making of the media?