The Last Word On
Journalists And Other Sports Commentators Should Halt The Superstar Tailback From Building A Brand Through His Anti-Hero Antics By Simply Taking Away His Soapbox Since He Has Nothing To Say Anyway
Marshawn Lynch image by Stephanie Rush, U.S. Army.
By Wayne Schutsky
Modern Times Magazine
Feb. 4, 2015 — The Super Bowl is over and thanks to one of the most bewildering play calls in football history, the New England Patriots came out on top. Rather than hand the ball to stalwart running back Marshawn Lynch on the one-yard line at the end of the game, the Seahawks opted to pass the ball and, well, the rest is history.
If Lynch would have taken the ball, he likely would have scored and then undoubtedly won the MVP award, forcing Lynch’s archenemy Goodell to acknowledge his greatness before 100 million fans.
Lynch flouts league rules by making a mockery (or outright ignoring) press conferences. Because of that, no one is happier about that result then NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. But, the media is a close second.
Because of his refusal to provide the media with little more than “Thank you for asking” or “I’m just here so I don’t get fined” quotes, Lynch is public enemy number one amongst many sports journalists. They feel he’s wasting their time and resent him for it.
Many of those journalists aren’t shy about how they feel, either.
Columnist Ed Sherman asked all journalists to boycott Skittles in retaliation, because Lynch is a spokesperson and famously loves tasting the rainbow. He’s hardly alone in his sentiments. Over the past few months, plenty of reporters have voiced their discontent with Lynch’s antics. Like this:
Marshawn Lynch's tired sphinx act masks the hard truth that without the media NFL players would be playing in a parking lot for $8 an hour— Brian Murphy (@murphPPress) January 28, 2015
@KissMeSuzy Just asking Lynch to be a pro, not a child. Pretty simple, really.— Neil Best (@sportswatch) December 22, 2014
And, I can understand their anger to a point. I’ve been blown off by more than my fair share of interviews and it sucks. I’ve had entire stories fall apart because my main source clams up.
But, that’s the risk you take when you’re job is dependant on another person’s willingness to talk to you. And, the thing is, Lynch isn’t killing any stories with his silence. He’s one player (albeit a major one) on team full of quotable characters that are more than willing to give a soundbite (Richard Sherman to the podium!).
At some point, it’s the reporters’ fault for continuing to show up to Lynch’s forced press conferences. Would it be nice if he provided actual sound bites? Sure. But at this point I’m fairly certain he’s not going to, so sports writers just need to get that through their heads.
At some point, these journalists need to realize that they’re wasting their own time by expecting to squeeze water from a stone. They also need to stop taking themselves so seriously.
These are grown human beings who make their living writing about a game. The Super Bowl isn’t exactly Benghazi, after all. Every time these reporters act so indignant because one player won’t talk to them, they only make themselves look more foolish.
No sentiment more acutely demonstrates this point than Brian Murphy’s tweet saying that players like Lynch would be working in parking lots and making $8/hour without the NFL media. That’s so disingenuous, it would make Stephen Glass blush.
I’m sure Lynch would be just fine without guys like Murphy around. He makes his money (indirectly) based on his ability to attract fans who attend games, watch broadcasts, and buy NFL memorabilia. I don’t think he makes a lot of cash every time someone reads a newspaper or website story about the latest Seahawks game.
In fact, Murphy has twisted the truth. He’s the one who would be out of job without players like Lynch. If they’re not on the field, he has nothing to write about.
I’m not defending Lynch here. Far from it. But, if he doesn’t want to talk to the media, that’s his prerogative (and he pays plenty of fines for his stubbornness).
What I can’t stand to watch anymore is a bunch of sports journalists sit on their high horses and complain about something that couldn’t be less relevant or important.
Wayne Schutsky is a senior contributor to Modern Times Magazine.
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