BY CLINTON PAWLICK
You have to hand it to Marshawn Lynch. That’s what everyone is saying. The broadcast announcers, social media, co-workers talking over cubicles. Even my neighbor in the dark hours of a miserable Monday morning when I was trying to pretend not to see him as I got into my car. “You give it to 24!” he yelled, a bit too loud for 7 a.m.
But I mean something more. Marshawn deserves credit. During the week leading up to the big game, the Seahawks’ star running back said very little to the media. His interactions were tense, confrontational. But when asked after the game about the final call of Super Bowl XLIX, a pass play, he said he wasn’t surprised. “No. Because we play football. It’s a team sport,” he said according to a report from ESPN. Fewer than 10 words, but, somehow, he said it all.
I didn’t hear it. My wife told me about it. I had turned off the television straight away and stayed away from the Internet. In times like these — puzzling, frustrating, aching times — I need the quiet. Instead of watching replays and collecting as much information as possible, I just try to forget. But even now,
as I sit in front of the screen, I can only shake my head.
I would have given it to Lynch.
Lynch produced one of the best seasons of his career — 1,306 regular season rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. There was no sign of him slowing down, despite the putative belief that he would. When I look back on 2014, I’ll remember that crazy run at Arizona. Beast Quake II, the longest run of his career. But there was the Oakland game, too. A 3-yard run in which he carried at least four Raiders into the north end zone at CenturyLink Field.
There was no decline. Only acceleration. And a style all his own. That wide stance and stable progression. He was and is amazing. A talented running back who is very good at being himself. Enigmatic, boisterous, shy and strong. A convincing competitor who speaks mostly through his actions on the field.
I’m not sure what happens next. Reports indicate that the Seahawks are willing to pay Lynch to keep him in the Emerald City. Some reports say they’ve offered more than $10 million for next season. That’s double what he is slated to make now in 2015, the final season of his current contract.
I wonder what he will do. I’m stuck with the thought that we should have given it to Lynch all along. But first we passed. And now, I just don’t know.
Clinton Pawlick and his wife, Jen, live in North Seattle. They love the Seahawks, good friends, Washington reds, and their two cats, Malcolm and Ink Pot Pie.
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