For his final act of his media obligations at Super Bowl 49, Marshawn Lynch wondered, "Why?"
Why are all the nation's and world's sports media obsessed with chronicling him of not wanting to talk? Of saying nothing?
That's what the Seahawks' running back asked a pack of cameras, recorders and curiosity chasers as he sat down on a platform inside a tent on the sprawling campus of the Arizona Grand Resort hotel this morning here in Phoenix. For the first 30 seconds or so, Lynch set a timer on his smart phone to 5 minutes.
Wearing another "Beast Mode" brand cap from New Era that the NFL apparently is considering fining him for wearing, he talked slowly and incredulously for about 2 minutes as to why this is all such a big deal.
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The following is a front-and-center video shot by Liz Mathews of Seattle's 710 ESPN radio.
"I mean, all week, I done told y'all what's up, and for some reason y'all continue to come back," Lynch said, an extended variation of "I'm here so I won't fined" from Tuesday's media day and "You know why I'm here" from Wednesday in that same hotel tent.
"I don't know what story y'all are trying to get outta me. I don't know what kind of image y'all are trying to portray of me. But it don't matter what y'all think, what y'all say about me. When I go home at night, the same people I look in the face, my family and those that I love ..."
He smiled broadly and shrugged.
"...that's all that matters to me," Lynch continued. "So y'all can make up whatever you want to make up, because I don't say enough for y'all to put anything out on me. But I'll come to y'all's event. Y'all shove cameras and microphones down my throat... When I'm am home, in my environment, I don't see y'all. But y'all mad at me. If y'all not mad at me, then what y'all here for?
"I got nothin' for y'all. I already told you that, so you should know that. But y'all will sit here like y'all are now, continue doing the same thing. I am sitting here trying to prepare for a game and y'all want to ask me all these questions -- which is understandable. I can live with that. But I told y'all: I'm not about to say nothin'.
Then he looked down his phone again.
"So for the remainder of my 3 minutes, because I'm here, I'm available for you -- I'm here, I'm available for y'all -- I done talked. All of my requirements are filled. So now for these next three minutes, I'm just going to be looking at y'all the way that y'all's lookin' at me.
Apparently five was the magic number Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for Lynch. Fulfill five minutes in front of the zoo patrons staring into his exhibit, and he was free to leave without the NFL fining him for not participating in the players' three mandatory media sessions before the Super Bowl.
Reporters tried a different tack today, showing off their creativity.
"Who's the best player on your team?" one asked.
"All of them," Lynch replied.
"Say something in Spanish," a reporter from a Spanish-language television network said.
"Hola," Lynch deadpanned back.
It was all a farce. Again. Lynch continues to, on his and only his terms, mock the league's policy requiring him to be available to the media.
And as I've said and written 200 times -- it feels like just in the past week -- I respect that and am fine with it. There are 52 other players on this team that has many others stories going on it three days before it tries to become the eighth franchise to win consecutive Super Bowls.
As for this unsubstantiated notion from ESPN and NFL Network reports in October that the Seahawks are tired of Lynch's "act":
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was talking today about how John Schneider -- the Seahawks general manager who said last week of Lynch "I kind of love his act" -- has been so brilliant building a young, fluid roster based on the coach's mantra of competition that keeps Seattle able to re-sign quarterback Russell Wilson likely this offseason (to a contract worth perhaps $20 million per season) while keeping the core of the team around for a while.
Carroll said Schneider has worked remarkably to "take care of our own guys. ... And Marshawn's a big part of that."
It was the first player Carroll mentioned.