Marshawn Lynch’s act exposes how out of touch media types are with wishes of fans

Posted: 01/29/2014 in football
Tags: , , , , ,

First it was a problem because Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman talks too much.

Now it’s a problem that Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch doesn’t talk enough.

The real problem is that Lynch’s disdain of participating in media interviews has somehow become the big story of Super Bowl week for the second straight day.

That more than anything tells you how boring a Super Bowl week in the New York City area has become. Or perhaps how out-of-touch, collectively, the media has become in relation to what fans truly care about.

Seriously, were reporters thinking a player who wouldn’t even talk to the Seattle media in the regular season was going to show up during Super Bowl week all cherry and bubbly and throwing Skittles to everybody?

Lynch not wanting to talk shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone and it’s now a big deal for one reason only – the egos of sports media types who always feel they are much, much more important than they truly are.

Heck, all most of these people need to do is look at what their pay stubs say. That will provide the true barometer of where they fit amidst all the millionaires they cover.

See, I’m supposed to defend them and express outrage at Lynch’s tactics because I served as a NFL and college beat writer for 16 consecutive seasons and covered three Super Bowls among other big events. But I never had an interest in the follow-the-pack mentality that too many sportswriters live by and I certainly have no interest in it now.

When you’re in battle on a daily basis, reporters get way too worked up about meaningless things. And 99 percent of them having nothing to do with what is supposed to be the most important thing – serving the needs and desires of the customers/subscribers.

If you’re in the media field, talk to normal folks about your gig. They don’t want to hear about YOU.

They want to know what Tony Gwynn or Philip Rivers are like or hear about your travels to famous places like Lambeau Field or the Big House in Ann Arbor. They might get impressed that a legend like Meadowlark Lemon spent 45 minutes on the phone with you or that Don Coryell had you over to his home for an interview but that has to do with those folks being icons, not you.

The fans have no interest in any of the particulars that come with being a sportswriter. They don’t understand why you’re still at the stadium four hours after the game ended, they don’t get it when you complain about all the pain-in-the-butt logistics issues involved with covering a Super Bowl and they surely don’t give a hoot when a player decides he doesn’t want to talk to you.

So the fans see this episode playing out with Marshawn Lynch and it just feeds into what they already think – that media types are spoiled, pushy slimeballs and not to be trusted.

They adore the athletes … they could care less about any NFL reporter. Period.

On Wednesday, Lynch did express that his fans don’t seem to care whether he conducts interviews. He also explained his disdain for interacting with the media.

“I really don’t have too much to say, boss,” Lynch said. “I really don’t. I appreciate it, but I don’t get it. I’m just here so I won’t get fined, boss. That’s the only reason I’m here.”

So there is Lynch providing an honest answer – which is usually all any sportswriter can ask for in an age where there is tons of dishonesty and phoniness. But it’s now not good enough because the media doesn’t like it when somebody doesn’t feel they are important.

In fact, the Pro Football Writers Association put out a statement criticizing Lynch’s lack of cooperation and the missive included this embarrassing sentence – “Several of our long-standing and high profile members were appalled by Mr. Lynch’s conduct and refusal to answer any questions.” (And, um, high-profile should be hyphenated).

Talk about an egotistical holier-than-thou sentence. And making yourself part of the story is always a great way to expose a true lack of objectivity.

So now Thursday will again become another media-created circus over whether Marshawn Lynch talks to reporters. While I admit it would be hilarious if Lynch shows up and spends a full hour smiling and cracking jokes and explaining “Beast Mode” and filling up notebooks, I hope he digs in deeper and is just as uncooperative as he has been the past two days.

As Lynch very well knows, the only people who care that he won’t talk at length are the people the fans care about the least.

And anytime you have to force someone to talk to you – you’ve already lost. By a landslide.

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