Thursday, January 18, 2018
Sports

Even in retirement mode, Lynch stayed in character

Two thoughts on the timing of Marshawn Lynch's retirement.

The first: It wasn't classy.

When the biggest sporting event in the country is in the final quarter of a one-score game, tweeting to the world that you're hanging 'em up isn't charming or eccentric — it's self-serving. It essentially was Lynch saying, "Hey, 110 million people watching the Broncos and Panthers. Look at me instead!"

Alex Rodriguez pulled a similar stunt in 2007 during the eighth inning of the final World Series game when his agent revealed he would opt out of his contract with the Yankees. That was a calculated declaration, and make no mistake: Lynch's was, too. Which leads me to my second thought on the timing of his announcement: It was perfect. Well, perfect for him, anyway.

If there has been one unifying theme characterizing Lynch's NFL career, it's that he does things his way and his way alone. Of course, how you view Lynch really depends on how you want to interpret the inkblot. It wouldn't be unfair to dislike him.

This is a guy who decided two days before the game that he wouldn't play in Minnesota last month — and, subsequently, stayed home while his teammates battled in sub-zero weather. This is a guy who claims to abhor public attention but has no problem making appearances on Conan and The League, using the media to sell hats, or trademarking phrases such as, "I'm just here so I don't get fined."

Marshawn welcomes the notoriety when it benefits him. But when he has to endure annoying media sessions and the like, the I-don't-want-the-attention-card has long been his golden ticket.

Having said that — it wouldn't be unfair to love him, either. His teammates certainly do. He was a bruiser playing the most physically taxing position in team sports at the highest level Seattle has seen. That's probably why fans spilled their adoration for Lynch on social media. They know the Seahawks wouldn't have a Super Bowl win without Beast Mode.

Could he have announced his retirement more elegantly? Like a lot of things during his career, the answer is yes. But Marshawn doesn't care. And more significant, Seahawks fans don't, either. — Seattle Times (TNS)

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