If you experienced in grade school the wise guy who sat behind you in class and flicked your earlobe, then quickly returned to work before Teach caught on, then you know a little bit about Marshawn Lynch.
Under late-season threat of a fine of up to $100,000 by the NFL, the Seahawks running caved to the pressure to cooperate with media interviews, as stipulated in the standard NFL player contract. Sorta.
The NFL can’t tell Lynch what to say or how long to say it. So he decided a couple of weeks ago to adhere to the letter of the obligation, not the spirit.
Lynch is a bright guy with plenty to say on numerous things, but no longer enjoys the media give-and-take –with the exception of paid commentary regarding plumbing advice.
In the grand scheme, no big deal. If non-football entertainment of fans/media were important, the Seahawks would have traded for Chris Rock. But they already have Richard Sherman.
Lynch has already delivered his version of an Obama inaugural address a couple of weeks ago.
“I don’t run,” he said, “to get tackled.”
Just in case that spare eloquence isn’t enough, here is the entirety of his discourse for local and national media Friday afternoon at Seahawks headquarters in Renton:
(If he is grateful that he was traded to the Seahawks) “Very thankful.”
(If he envisioned that he would be this successful for the Seahawks) “No. I’m just happy with the situation that I’m in now.”
(On what it feels like to be playing in the NFC Championship) “Just one step closer to the big show.”
(On if this game is special since they are playing against the 49ers) “I mean, it doesn’t matter who it is.”
(On if NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis are unique linebackers) “They are good players.”
(On what impresses him about Bowman and Willis) “I mean, I just respect their game.”
(How difficult is it to run against Justin Smith and Aldon Smith) “They just play their game and they are good players and they make plays. That’s what they get paid for.”
(What he’s learned about Carroll) “That he is the same every day.”
(How Carroll makes the players feel comfortable to play for the Seahawks) “They just give you the opportunity to be yourself.”
(How excited he was to get a call from Carroll that he was going to be traded to the Seahawks) “I was very excited.”
(What it means for the team to be one game away from playing in the Super Bowl) “Our team feels like we haven’t done anything yet.”
(Assessment of the Seahawks’ performance throughout the season) “Pretty good. Pretty good.”
(On Frank Gore) “He’s a good, talented back. I respect his game, and that’s for every running back though.”
(On why the 49ers are difficult to run the ball against) “Just their overall game. They make plays.”