BY Art Thiel 03:43PM 12/25/2014

NFL goes Grinch on Lynch for TD crotch grab

The NFL sent Marshawn Lynch a Christmas greeting — a fine of $11,050 for grabbing his crotch as dove into the end zone Sunday in Arizona.

At the end of this spectacular run against Arizona, Marshawn Lynch was fined for unsportsmanlike conduct regarding his entry into the end zone. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

The NFL fined him for silence. Now they fined him for gestures. And they did it on Christmas Day. Soon enough, the league will insist that Marshawn Lynch stop being mean to defenders he keeps throwing away, or risk being fined for littering.

Word came via, citing an anonymous league source, on Christmas morning that the Seahawks’ iconoclastic running back drew a fine of $11,050 for unsportsmanlike conduct — specifically, his crotch grab as he floated into the end zone to complete a career-long, 79-yard touchdown run Sunday against Arizona that again left the sports world agape.

Seahawks fans remember that he did the same thing in 2010 after his immortal “Beast Quake” run that beat New Orleans in a wild-card playoff game. There was neither penalty nor fine that time. There was no penalty called by field officials Sunday, but the fine indicates a desire by the NFL to increase its nanny-state profile.

No word yet whether Lynch will appeal on the grounds that he was engaged in an act of player safety, knowing what a high value the NFL places on the health of its employees. Of course, if the NFL was really serious about player safety, they would simply ban Lynch.

Lynch’s deconstruction of the Arizona defense was so compelling that CB Richard Sherman was asked this week if thought he could stop Lynch from scoring.

“I am saying there’s a chance,” Sherman said, grinning. “I would have given a very valiant effort.

“Me and Marshawn have these discussions daily about whether I am able to tackle him or not. But I guarantee you in that situation if I didn’t get him down, I would have gotten him out of bounds.

“You know, he was an inch from out of bounds. яндекс All you had to do was push him. He’s got the best balance ever. But full speed, 200 pounds, what I got would have gotten him out of bounds.”

Asked to describe his view from the sidelines of Lynch’s run, Sherman said, “Shock and awe — then expecting him to keep going, and then more shock and awe. And then anticipation of what he was going to do at the end — and then joy.

There’s a certain flair to the way he enters an end zone.”

Flair, of course, depends on one’s perspective. They don’t call it the National Flair League.



  • df

    Kinda nice to hear someone in Seattle decry anything described as “nanny state”.

    • art thiel

      Well, we are a little inconsistent around here. We can smoke dope and marry gaily, but can’t throw out food scraps, and we limit our tunnel digs to an average of 500 feet a year.

  • RunningRoy

    Good thing this didn’t happen in Seattle after New Year’s, or the city would have also cited him for throwing away scraps.

    • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

      He did throw away Patrick Peterson…thus Sherman’s remark that if it were he(playing AZ defense) …he(RS) would have somehow someway found a way to push beast out of bounds…what is known….

      Lynch threw away PP and grabbed his own PP all in a matter of seconds of the same extended play…

      • art thiel

        At least Peterson knows he will never be forgotten by NFL Films.

    • art thiel

      Then again, he should be hailed for recycling the Beast Quake.

  • 1coolguy

    As much as I like Lynch’ on field performance, his crotch grab and lack of speaking to the media are simply unacceptable. Who else in the league does these 2 things? NO ONE, that’s who. Why? Because it’s classless and tacky.
    The only fans who think it’s acceptable are Seattle fans, so maybe they should also reconsider.
    When questioning whether something is acceptable, just look to the norm.
    Who in their right mind does NOT talk to the press???
    Montana, Rice, Aikman, Smith, Sanders, Payton, Brown, LT, etc: NONE of these guys grabbed their crotch or did stupid stuff.
    Lynch of course will do whatever, yet he isn’t doing himself any favors.

    • Hugh Moag

      Ha that’s funny a self professed 1coolguy decides to takes potshots at the best pure power running back in the NFL because he doesn’t like talking to the media and because…. not on every play mind you…. but on quite possibly the best two running plays of his entire era he has entered the end zone with the same joy and exuberance that has made not just Hawks fans but anyone who truly loves the game of football stand up and growl BEAST!!! I think you should rename yourself 1TOOLguy and get a job with Roger G where you can fine all the athletes that make the NFL fun to watch just because they don’t fit your Payton Manning wet dream of what a football player should be.

      • 1coolguy

        Cool. Good idea. Since Roger makes $44 maybe I can sneak in for a measly $5. Will you be a reference?

        • Hugh Moag

          It is a surname proudly passed on from father to son. Pretty sure it is Irish for 1coolguy. I’m pretty sure that your salary aspirations are on the high end for what Roger is willing to pay out for a flunky. You know he has to protect the owners profits. I will do better then be a reference I will help you out with some of the interview questions. 1 what additional rules can we implement to stop the legion of boom from embarrassing out golden boy quarterbacks? 2. How do we penalize Father Time so he will stop sacking Payton? 3. Do you think we should limit defense to 9 players so fantasy players will win their bowl games by 100 points? Good luck with the interview.

          • art thiel

            Hey, hey, you kids. The relatives are in town for the holidays. Play nice, or no college bowl games for you.

          • Hugh Moag

            No animus here… Just having fun with the neighbors. Is it OK if I just promise I didn’t watch the famous Idaho potato bowl and maybe agree that I will not probably watch the bowl unless there is really nothing else on? P.s. Thanks for all the great writing over the years Art.

          • art thiel

            My pleasure, Hugh.

            I suppose you’re going to tell me you blew off the Bahamas Bowl, too?

    • He says what needs to be said, and he plays good football. He’s arguably the best running back in the league. You can’t be the best without being different from the rest. “Who else in the league does these 2 things? NO ONE, that’s who. Why?” Because they’re busy with murders and shoplifting and beating wives and felony weapons covictions and such which is much more classy and untacky than doing charitable work for kids in your hometown. Marching in a line with everybody else is not the road to greatness.

      • art thiel

        I’d be careful about indicting all the other players in the NFL, most of whom are solid citizens, with the misdeeds of a relative few.

        As far as Lynch, he is an outlier, and that often (but not always) comes with some high maintenance.

        • I don’t mean an indictment of all the players, I just think it’s silly to indict Marshawn’s overall conduct. My point some things needs real attention. Much ado over comparably minor infractions with zero injuries is, at best, sanctimonious.

          As for his media interactions, he seems to be getting the best results lately. The sports writers and the league are starting to look like bullies to those of us in the peanut gallery, and this latest fine will only throw flammable liquid on the conflagration.

    • art thiel

      I get that the NFL, being the new corporate leader, for example, in charge of telling us how to curb domestic violence, can’t be seen tolerating behavior that many others see as deliberate, insulting mockery. So if Lynch wants to continue, he can pay the price, and be a hero to some and a villain to others.

      Regarding his media obligations, Lynch needs to take it up with his union. They agreed to it.

  • Big

    It’s expensive being Marshawn Lynch. He has expensive tastes. Pay to play it is for Marshawn.

    • art thiel

      The price for iconoclasm is often high.

  • Guest

    Marshawn is Bad.

    • art thiel

      Thriller, I’d say.

  • Tim

    “Soon enough, the league will insist that Marshawn Lynch stop being mean
    to defenders he keeps throwing away, or risk being fined for littering.” Priceless Art! That was a belly laugh and a half.

    I didn’t even notice the grab until everybody made a big deal about it. Maybe he had an itch or something. I doubt very much that people across the country were even talking about that after the “grab” after watching him annihilate the Cardinal’s secondary en route to the end zone.

    • art thiel

      Thanks, Tim.

      I’m guessing that every boy under about 12 who witnessed the feat was flying around the house into couches emulating their junk-grabbing hero.

  • maoling

    He should appeal and claim he was merely adjusting his cup.

    • art thiel

      Seahawks have proven they are good at adjustments.

  • poulsbogary

    It is my preference that the runner get the ball across the goal line as efficiently as possible, then go back to the bench.

    • art thiel

      It is Marshawn’s preference that he be allowed to be different.

      • poulsbogary

        What is your preference, Mr Thiel?

        • art thiel

          My preference is for most anything that makes a good story. But I think most Seahawks fans should be more concerned about the end zone flop for a guy who supposedly has a bad back.

          • poulsbogary

            Ha ha ha! Very nice. As long as you’re writing, there is yet hope for sports journalism. Not that you need that kind of pressure.

  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    Brady Henderson over at espn710 wrote about this subject and used the term “crotchal region” …Lol~some of the posters are frying him for the slang/made up word.
    Personally I could see Lynch privately refering to Roger Goodell as the “Big Crotchal” for his insistence in being such a stickler about doling out fines for media silence and cup adjustments.

    • art thiel

      As a man of few words, I think Lynch would be much more direct in addressing the commissioner. But he first needs to take it up with his union, which accepted the media obligation for all players.

  • Dave Mauro

    I think it is unfortunate that the NFL misunderstood Lynch’s gesture, which was merely a show of support for Planned Parenthood.

    • art thiel

      I thought it was a statement about recycling: Never throw away your junk.