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JERSEY CITY, N.J. – None of the Seahawks or Broncos have said anything to make headlines this Super Bowl week, so the biggest story has become the guy who doesn't say much of anything.
Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch has become a huge topic of conversation as the week has gone on. He rarely speaks to the media, was threatened with a $50,000 fine earlier this season for not fulfilling his media obligations, and there were rumors that he would skip Tuesday's league-mandated media day. But he arrived, talked for a little bit (and gave the line of the week with "I'm just about that action, boss") and then stood to the side while reporters waited around to see if he'd say anything else.
The scene repeated itself Wednesday during the Seahawks' media session. Lynch sat down, said little and left for a back room after a few minutes of the hour or so the session lasted.
Here's the issue: Lynch just doesn't like to talk. Not to the media and not even to his team. He's just a quiet person.
"We don't get any more interview time than you get with him," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "He doesn't talk with us, and doesn't talk to you really."
Fullback Michael Robinson tried to lighten up the uncomfortable media session on Wednesday, ducking in to take questions on Lynch's behalf and even punctuating his answers with "boss." Most of the rest of the time, Lynch tried explaining with short answers why he doesn't like talking to the media and saying he doesn't know why it's important.
"I really ain’t got too much to say, boss," Lynch said. "I really don’t. I mean, I appreciate it, but I don’t get it. I’m just here so I won’t get fined, boss."
There has been some outrage from the media and there are some valid points. It's part of Lynch's job to cooperate with the media (that's written in the standard contract) and the league is the public powerhouse it is today in part because of the constant media attention. Even on days there are no NFL games, the league dominates the conversation in the sports world. That's important for the league. Few players like dealing with the media. But they do because the league mandates it for promotional reasons, and the game (and in many cases the player) benefits.
But in this case, Lynch has some good points.
He has a quiet personality, the Seahawks say. He seems very uncomfortable in media settings. It doesn't do anyone any good for him to continue the same routine he has done Tuesday and Wednesday for an hour instead of five minutes. So he talks for a little bit and leaves.
Carroll praised Lynch. He talked about him being a quiet leader and how hard he works and what a great player he is. He defended Lynch not wanting to talk, pointing out that many of team's other players are very good to the media, and that is true. The Seahawks have a reputation as one of the most entertaining teams in the league to cover. Just not their star running back.
"On this football team, and all teams, there's people that are more available than other people because they're comfortable with that," Carroll said.
And the funniest thing about it all is that by not standing around and giving dull answers for an hour, Lynch has given reporters something to write about and discuss in an otherwise quiet week.
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