Let me start by thanking SBNation. Without them, there would be no CincyJungle. On the topic of CincyJungle, I would like to thank Josh Kirkendall. Without him, I would not have been invited to join this great site and you wouldn't be reading these words right now. They said I couldn't do it, they doubted CJ and the writers for a long time. But, here we are, we showed them.
The words above could be a transcript from just about any player interview after a big game, simply substitute the names. We know the answers are coming, and very rarely do we encounter truth in an answer from a player. My thoughts above are true (except of course the part about "they" doubted me, no one really cared enough to doubt me). If I added those thoughts to the end of every post, you would glance over them, treat them as disingenuous and all meaning would be lost.
We do the same thing with the media in pro-sports. Who really cares about the player thanking God for his performance on the field? Or the player thanking their teammates for doing their job so well. It is tired and predictable. Yet, we are up in arms about how Marshawn Lynch is currently dissing the media.
Last January Lynch opened up with Michael Silver of NFL.com. He talked about why he stands off against the media, and how he is uncomfortable making the talk about him when his teammates play such a big role in his output. The Seahawks had an incredible offensive line going into the Super Bowl last season. Quick, name 3 of the 5 lineman. In a world where the individual is the brand and people make sure to promote themselves, we are taken aback when a guy puts his foot down and refuses to play the game. In the same interview Lynch said:
"And I'm not as comfortable, especially at the position I play, making it about me. As a running back, it takes five offensive linemen, a tight end, a fullback and possibly two wide receivers, in order to make my job successful. But when I do interviews, most of the time it'll come back to me. There are only so many times I can say, 'I owe it to my offensive linemen,' or, 'The credit should go to my teammates,' before it becomes run down."
Exactly. Credit should be shared, but it's not. We don't draft a single Seattle lineman in our fantasy draft so we focus on the player helping our team. Lineman don't get huge endorsement deals and Skittles don't rain down on them when they open a whole in the line big enough for a truck to drive through. Shoot, even the announcers heap the praise on the "skill" position players when all they had to do was prance through the opening given to them by the guys doing their job.
I side with Lynch on this one. As Josh chronicled here, the story has become the fact that he won't answer. Some expect him to play along, citing this as part of what comes with being a football player. If there is a rule I don't agree with, I follow it. I just might stretch it to do the least I can while avoiding breaking said rule. I applaud Lynch for doing the same.