PHOENIX — Thousands of fans, clearly with money to burn, spent $28.50 for the right to watch media members and assorted Barbie dolls from Hispanic television stations ask questions to football players.
I think an out-of-town guy I ran into in the elevator back at my hotel put it best: “I didn’t fly 3,000 miles here from Miami to watch people talk to other people.” Smart dude.
In the case of Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch, he certainly didn’t miss anything.
Lynch, whose aversion to speaking to the media has been well-chronicled in non-quote-filled stories, led Seattle players out of the tunnel at U.S. Airways Center for Tuesday’s Super Bowl Media Day and made his way to his interview kiosk. But he didn’t speaking, beyond saying, “I’m here so I won’t get fined.”
According to detail-oriented journalists who had nothing else to write on their notepads, Lynch said that 29 times. Interview Beast Mode.
Lynch checked the stopwatch on his phone at one point and said, “Three more minutes.”
After five minutes total, he got up and left.
Expect him to be fined regardless of the fact the he showed up to Media Day as mandated by the NFL. The fine could be up to $250,000 or $500,000, depending on what angry sportswriter you talk to.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter, the president of the Pro Football Writers Association, wrote this week that player contracts state that players must “cooperate with news media” and that violations of procedures “will be considered conduct detrimental to the league and will be subject to disciplinary action by the commissioner.”
Hey, those are the rules. Don’t jump on the media for this. Those are the rules. Lynch is the one creating an issue. He’s a great player, but he’s creating an issue for no reason. Even shy and quiet players who abhor media responsibilities often embrace the goofiness of media day.
Lynch is just different. Excuse me: unique.
Now, about the goofiness. Here’s a few shots from Media Day.
•• A recent writer’s dozen from the digital jukebox
— MyAJC: Great or not, Patriots’ legacy is forever tarnished — AJC: Seattle players say Quinn will be ‘great head coach’ for Falcons — AJC: Brady says ‘feelings got hurt’ by accusations (really?) — MyAJC: Hawks are closest team to rare Atlanta sports title — AJC: Matt Ryan doesn’t believe deflating footballs is the norm — MyAJC: Al Horford finally past injuries and frustration with Hawks — AJC: Stall, lie, cheat — it’s the Patriots’ way, and perfectly timed — AJC: DeflateGate: It’s time for NFL to forfeit games for cheaters — MyAJC: Walsh-Montana still top Belichick-Brady on coach-QB mountain — AJC: Seattle’s Super Bowl only delays Falcons’ hiring of Dan Quinn — AJC: Oddsmaker says Braves’ win total will be ‘low 70s’ (with reader poll) — MyAJC: Braves’ moves carry Coppolella’s fingerprints — AJC: There goes Evan Gattis as Braves take another big hit — AJC: Quinn was tabbed as ‘Next Great Coach’ but can Falcons get him? — AJC: UPDATE: Bowles goes to Jets but if Falcons get Quinn it won’t matter — AJC: Falcons should talk to John Fox before making decision on Quinn, Bowles — AJC: Rex Ryan going to Buffalo — and that’s not bad news for Falcons — AJC: Nick Saban, the mercenary, takes on ex-Bulldog Jonathan Taylor — MyAJC: Falcons’ backdrop not comforting for coaching search — AJC: Falcons’ changes: Pioli’s role increases, so what does this mean for Dimitroff?