Amid deflated balls in New England, the NFL has fined Marshawn Lynch for grabbing his, well, you know ...
ESPN reports this morning the league has fined the Seahawks star running back $20,000 for this act below at the end of his touchdown run that put Seattle ahead of Green Bay late in regulation of last weekend's NFC championship game.
This brings Lynch's fine totals for this season from the NFL to $131,050. He got docked $100,000 after national media complained about him not talking in the locker room immediately following Seattle's loss Nov. 16 at Kansas City, then another $11,050 for grabbing his stuff on a back-first plunge into the end zone to cap his memorable touchdown run at Arizona in December.
And for sure, the league will be watching Lynch very closely next week during Super Bowl week in Arizona. Lynch, like every Seahawks and Patriots player, has three media obligations while there: Tuesday's Media Day craziness at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix and one session in the Seahawks' hotel each on Wednesday and Thursday.
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"An NFL official said there would be increasing fines for each session Lynch misses," the ESPN report states today, "with each fine being more than the two $50,000 fines already imposed and the upcoming fine that is expected soon."
The Seahawks and the league are already talking on how to be proactive on this before it becomes even more of a sideshow that it already is.
Said it before: The man doesn't want to talk, fine. Not fine him, but fine by me.
My guess is Lynch complies with his media obligations next week in letter of the law only, coming up with a new word or phrase to answer each query for a while before walking off. That's what he's done with "yeah" and "no" and "thank you for asking" in the locker room after three different games since the Kansas City fine. My hunch is he won't technically "miss" the session, yet he will make a mockery of having to follow the NFL's mandate by being present to face questions.
What kind of mockery? Something like this postgame session after the Nov. 23 home win over Arizona:
We may see if the NFL wants to dock him for speaking to the media in that way next week but not for the entire assigned time -- and almost assuredly not in the way the league would want.
The NFL still has to announce the results of its investigation into New England deflating game balls for last weekend's AFC title game.
For the league, it's worldwide extravaganza game in 10 days can't get here soon enough.