The circus is about to begin.
The Super Bowl's annual media day free-for-all complete with questions from clowns, cross-dressers -- and then the non-journalists -- begins at 9:30 a.m. Seattle time. The Patriots go first inside U.S. Airways Center, the downtown Phoenix basketball home of the Suns.
This is the event where Marshawn Lynch looked like he did above last year in Newark, New Jersey -- and uttered "I'm just 'bout that action, Boss."
That is more than he will likely say today.
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Expect the Seahawks' star running back of less-than-few words to indeed show up for today's even, with for the NFC champions at 11:15 a.m. Seattle time. Lynch isn't about to hand over to the NFL $200,000, the likely minimum fine that's been discussed if he doesn't appear.
And expect him to stay with some variation of "thank you" or "yeah" or "that's a nice outfit" in his answers to every question for about 5-10 minutes, as he has done intermittently in locker rooms following games since his league fine of $100,000 for not talking immediately after the Seahawks' Nov. 16 game at Kansas City. That includes this after Seattle's win over Arizona last month, the last time the Seahawks were here:
The league, a few national media members and the Seahawks have been discussing with Lynch some over the last week how today plus his mandatory availability sessions Wednesday and Thursday at the team's Arizona Grand Resort hotel are going to go down. We're about to find out. Our News Tribune columnist John McGrath will be staking out Lynch's podium area and writing a column on what he sees today.
Here's what I've seen all season with Lynch, as I wrote in today's TNT:
You see crotch grabs in the end zone.
The Seattle Seahawks simply see that Marshawn Lynch is in the end zone.
They’ve seen him there an NFL-leading 18 times this season. The Seahawks also see 1,522 yards for the league’s No. 1 rushing offense — plus a joking, playful, caring confidant, supporter and friend.
They see a guy who flies inner-city children from his hometown of Oakland and turns them into thrilled, wide-eyed visitors to the team’s headquarters in Renton on days before home games.
“He’s definitely a great teammate,” Seattle safety Kam Chancellor said Monday, “and a great man.”
No, the Marshawn Lynch the Seahawks know is not the polarizing one the rest of America sees and hears.
Every Super Bowl has controversy; the New England Patriots spent their Monday arrival press conference here trying to put deflated balls behind them.
And every Super Bowl has a bad guy.
For this one, it is Lynch. Just as it was at the last one.
“Yeah, I think a lot of people misunderstand Marshawn,” Chancellor said at the Arizona Grand Hotel following the Seahawks’ first practice of Super Bowl week yesterday at Arizona State University. “Just because he doesn’t want to talk to the media doesn’t make him a bad guy.
“He’s not a bad person because he doesn’t want to talk to the media. You can’t punish a guy for not wanting to talk to the media.
“I don’t understand it,” Chancellor concluded.
Read more about why Seahawks general manager John Schneider said Friday of Lynch: "I kind of love his act."
--Here was our TNT sports cover today, with McGrath's story on where a Seahawks' victory on Sunday over the Patriots for a second consecutive Super Bowl title would place Seattle in the NFL's history of legendary teams.