Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is one of the most interesting characters in the entire NFL. He is strong, rough, resilient, humble, and Beast Mode. He has a genuine love for the game and praises his teammates over praising his own individual performance. He is just as interesting to watch off the field as he is on. Lynch has creatively found a way to avoid talking to most media and refuses to change who he is for anyone. Marshawn is beloved by his teammates and coaches, but could Sunday be Lynch’s last game in a Seattle uniform, or even in the NFL? See why I think the answer could be yes right here at Over the Grill!
Marshawn Lynch grew up in Oakland, California. He was raised by his single mother, who worked two jobs just to put food on the table and clothes on her children’s back. Lynch came from a lineage of athletes. His cousins include former Oakland Raiders QB, Jamarcus Russell, Josh Johnson of the San Francisco 49ers and wide receiver Robert Jordan. Lynch’s uncle, Lorenzo Lynch, had an 11 year NFL career as well. And Lynch’s mother held a 200-meter track record at Oakland Technical High School. At Oakland Technical, Lynch was a 4 sport star athlete in football, track, basketball and wrestling. But it was his hard running and ability to break tackles on the football field that gave Marshawn the most recognition. In his senior season, Lynch rushed for 1,722 total yards and scored 8 touchdowns in 8 regular season games with an additional 375 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2 postseason matches. After his performances, Lynch frequently gave all the credit to his teammates for opening the holes and allowing him to run. This was enough for Lynch to be ranked as the second best running back in the country behind Ben Tate.
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At Cal, Lynch brought the same grind it out running 15 minutes away from his Oakland home. Lynch was the primary backup at Cal as a true freshman. In his sophomore season, Lynch took over as the full time starter and ran for 1,246 yards and 10 touchdowns on 197 carries. In the 2005 Las Vegas Bowl, Lynch showed everyone there what Beast Mode was all about, rushing for 194 yards on only 24 carries and scoring three touchdowns. He earned MVP honors for that game. Lynch continued to shine in his junior season, launching a Heismen campaign and leading Cal to another bowl game, where he took home Co- Offensive Player of the Game Honors. Lynch still holds the school record for most 100-yard rushing games at 17. When asked about his great performances, Lynch poured out support to his teammates again. Lynch has also recently stated that he use to pretend to be tired so his backup, Justin Forsett, would get more carries. Lynch decided to go to the NFL draft after his junior season.
Marshawn was selected 12th overall by the Buffalo Bills. He signed a 6 year $18 million deal. In his rookie season, Lynch took over the starting role in the backfield and rewarded Buffalo for their trust in him, finishing the season with 1,115 yards and seven touchdowns. Lynch became the fourth Bills rookie to break the 1,000 yard marker and the first since 1984. During the offseason, Lynch was charged with a hit and run in Buffalo, where Lynch allegedly struck a woman crossing the street and failed to stop. Lynch said he did not think he hit anyone or anything. He had his driving license revoked because of the incident. Lynch once again eclipsed 1,000 yards in 2008 despite a slow start, finishing the season with 1,036 yards and eight touchdowns and making his first Pro Bowl, replacing Chris Johnson. During the offseason, trouble found Lynch again, as he was caught with a weapon in his backpack in a car he was in. Marshawn plead guilty for the misdemeanor and had to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Goodell handed Lynch a 3-game suspension for violating the NFL Player Personal Conduct Policy. This lead to Lynch losing his starting role to Fred Jackson, who amassed his first 1,000 yard season of his career. Jackson’s emergence made Lynch expendable to the Bills, who traded him the following season to the Seattle Seahawks for two draft picks in the middle of the 2010 season.
In Seattle, Lynch found success in a BIG WAY. Playing in his first career playoff game on January 8, 2011, against the New Orleans Saints, Lynch had a 67-yard touchdown run in which he broke nine tackles and threw Saints safety Tracy Porter to the ground. The run sealed a Seattle playoff victory and the crowds reaction cause seismic activity. The run is now known as the Beast Quake. Lynch continued to find success, have a high in yards and touchdowns the following season. Marshawn played a big part in the Seahawks Super Bowl run during the 2013 season.
Tomorrow, Marshawn Lynch and his Seattle Seahawks are taking on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. But could that be the last game the 28-year old running back plays in the NFL? According to Lynch, he has done it all. He has made a lot of money and won a Super Bowl. He is a team oriented player who loves to promote those around him and hates the spotlight. His refusal to talk to the media has resulted in massive fines. Coach Pete Carroll said Lynch’s antics with the media is just someone trying his best to be himself. During his Super Bowl press conferance, Lynch only replied with “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.” During the playoffs, Lynch replied to 27 questions about the a game with simply “Thank you”s and “thanks for noticing.” Marshawn Lynch also has back issues he has been dealing with in the last few seasons.
So what is my prediction from all these facts? Marshawn Lynch is a little unorthodox, hates the spotlight, and wants to go out on his own terms with his health in tact. Lynch gives a lot back to his home community and has a lot of his earnings saved. I think that the 28-year old walks away from the NFL if the Seahawks take home another Vince Lombardi trophy tomorrow. He will avoid attention for the most part and potentially might become a high school football coach down the line, similarly to what Brett Farve is doing now. After watching as many interviews of the Oakland product as possible, he has a lot more to give to the world than just his ability on the field. Good luck Beast Mode!