Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Super Bowl: Lynch goes into interview Beast Mode again


Somebody threw Marshawn Lynch a bag of Skittles. The Skittles spoke as much as he did.

PHOENIX -- Thousands of fans, clearly with money to burn, spent $28.50 for the right to watch media members and assorted Barbie dolls from Hispanic television stations ask questions to football players.

I think an out-of-town guy I ran into in the elevator back at my hotel put it best: "I didn't fly 3,000 miles here from Miami to watch people talk to other people." Smart dude.

In the case of Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch, he certainly didn't miss anything.

Lynch, whose aversion to speaking to the media has been well-chronicled in non-quote-filled stories, led Seattle players out of the tunnel at U.S. Airways Center for Tuesday's Super Bowl Media Day and made his way to his interview kiosk. But he didn't speaking, beyond saying, "I'm here so I won't get fined."

According to detail-oriented journalists who had nothing else to write on their notepads, Lynch said that 29 times. Interview Beast Mode.

Lynch checked the stopwatch on his phone at one point and said, "Three more minutes."

After five minutes total, he got up and left.

Expect him to be fined regardless of the fact the he showed up to Media Day as mandated by the NFL. The fine could be up to $250,000 or $500,000, depending on what angry sportswriter you talk to.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter, the president of the Pro Football Writers Association, wrote this week that player contracts state that players must "cooperate with news media" and that violations of procedures "will be considered conduct detrimental to the league and will be subject to disciplinary action by the commissioner.”

Hey, those are the rules. Don't jump on the media for this. Those are the rules. Lynch is the one creating an issue. He's a great player, but he's creating an issue for no reason. Even shy and quiet players who abhor media responsibilities often embrace the goofiness of media day.

Lynch is just different. Excuse me: unique.

Now, about the goofiness. Here's a few shots from Media Day.

This was the scene early on the floor of U.S. Air Center before New England players even showed up. The NFL used to hold Media Day in the football stadium but now prefers things to be as cramped and uncomfortable as possible. Expect next year's event to be held in a shoebox.

I take a picture of this guy every year. I don't know why. I disgust myself.

No, I was not going to ask him a question with the word "inflation" or "deflation" in it.

If this guy wasn't a key witness in "Spygate," he should have been.

I guess word didn't get around that I have a one-on-one set up with Tom Brady.

TV El Azteca continues to recruit from the nation's finest journalism schools. I can't figure out how they keep getting players to stand there for interviews.

I sense there is a growing recruiting war brewing between TV El Azteca and Televisa that makes Alabama vs. Auburn look like nothing.

Marshawn has left the building.


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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.