Oh, the outrage! The National Sports Journalism Center took time out of its busy schedule of justifying conflict of interest from its ESPN brethren to condemn one Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks. His crime? You might think it is Marshaw’s longstanding distaste for post game press conferences has upset these titans.
But that’s not it. The NSJC takes umbrage with Lynch mocking the crap out of sport reporters.
Lynch does make the job harder for the press. He has known to straight-up boycott the media, a big no-no in the NFL, who has fined Lynch big bucks for such transgressions.
His latest strategy is to talk to the press, but quotes the same non-answers repeatedly. Is that what has led to this press jihad? Nope. It’s not the famous clichés that athletes are famous for utilizing to say absolutely nothing. He just repeats the same thing over and over. Witness this one after a big win over the Arizona Cardinals this year.
Reporters know the deal. They ask the question. Marshawn doesn’t answer. All’s well. Until Wednesday. After Marshawn gave the “I’m here so I don’t get fined” answer during his required press appearance during Super Bowl week, he held an amazing media event that angered the press lords.
It’s all about Skittles. For those unfamiliar with the Seahawks, Lynch is a big fan of the Skittles candy and munches on them after every touchdown and particularly after ‘Beast Mode,’ his trademark combination of carrying the ball with the brute force of a Mack truck and the grace of a ballerina.
On Wednesday, Marshawn held a faux press conference with Skittles, where at long last, he talked. It wasn’t a soul revealing answers to actual questions. The queries were absurd and mocked the entire press conference format. And he had a lot of fun doing it. Marshawn twice was laughing out loud during the three-minute clip. It’s really the only thing you should watch from this week’s pre-Super Bowl festivities, which has become a parody of itself and should be cancelled.
Here’s my theory: the press was at peace as long as they thought Marshawn was a shy retiring type. When he showed that wasn’t the case and he could mess with the press, then the knives came out.
Longtime NFL reporter and current sport media blogger Ed Sherman called for a boycott of Skittles on the National Sports Journalism Center website after the Skittles press conference. Why? Well Sherman believes that his stance of not talking to the press became a ‘marketing opportunity.’
Look, 99 percent of questions journalists ask post-game have the nutritional value of Skittles. The answers athletes provide are equivalent of candy-coated crap. Marshawn answering “thank you for asking” is just slightly less insightful than a quarterback who praises his offensive line, coach, preparation and, naturally, God. In fact Marshawn refusing to answer banal questions actually leads to more headlines than clichéd quotes, which makes more money for journalists’ employers. It peeves journalists that Marshawn won’t play along. But he is his own man.
During today’s mandatory five minutes of hell Marshawn had enough. He unloaded on the press during his required time at the podium. It’s the most emotion he has shown during one of these meetings in his entire time as an athlete.
Marshawn isn’t against talking to the media. He’s tight with veteran NFL reporter Michael Silver and has discussed at length about why he doesn’t like to talk to the press. His conversation with NFL Networks’ Deion Sanders last year during Super Bowl week was illuminating. In the past Marshawn sat down with NFL Films at length to discuss Beast Mode.
It’s just that Marshawn doesn’t seem to care for the scrum and the ridiculous questions asked while a gang bang of reporters crowd around his locker. I don’t blame him for a minute.
Journalists have done the impossible. It turned this 49er leaning fan (up until this year’s un-Harbaughing at least) into rooting for the Seahawks…actually just Beast Mode.
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