WASHINGTON — Super Bowl Media Day is awful. It’s a spectacle of idiocy unsurpassed by any other in the intersection of professional sports and those who cover it. And one man has, in the simplest way, won that day.
That man is Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch. Long known for his tendency to treat postgame press conferences as the pointless charades they often are (and for getting fined for doing so), Lynch took his honesty a step further on Tuesday in Phoenix.
“I’m here so I won’t get fined,” he answered every question put to him for the five minutes that reporters continued to insist on doing so.
Sportswriters and sports fans often complain about the lack of transparency in their stars, that the players’ images are overly polished, the rough edges sanded away by PR teams and publicists and handlers. Even after this exhaustive, overwrought, nearly 8,000-word profile on Tom Brady, commenters lamented that the piece failed to “get to the substance of the man” and that “one suspects there is more to Tom Brady than he lets on.”
And yet, here is Marshawn Lynch, appearing only because he is contractually obligated to do so, answering blasé questions of little to no import with seven of the most honest words we’ve heard from a professional athlete in years, and getting slammed for it by certain members of the sports media.
Making professional athletes speak when they have nothing substantive to say — or when they don’t feel like speaking — is one of professional athletics’ dumbest institutions. If you can’t write a story without a Lynch pontificating thoughtfully on the infringement of privacy in the modern age, you should focus your efforts on getting better at your job.
Marshawn Lynch is an American hero and a role model for anyone calling attention to bad rules and regulations everywhere. He stands for people everywhere who do what they have to do so they don’t get fined, or fired, who will slog through the distasteful aspects of their lives to get to the stuff they enjoy doing. He’s great at his job, and honest about the one part of it that makes him uncomfortable.
What more could you ask for?