"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Stop Making Sense


That’d be our man Charlie Pierce:

Watching Marshawn Lynch run with the football these days is like watching Jim Brown in short bursts. (Brown ran like Lynch all the time, and that’s why he’s the greatest football player who ever lived.) Watching him in interviews is to see an artist at work — a natural deconstructionist, fashioning a media event to his own intriguing style.

Lynch doesn’t like to talk — and despite all the criticism he’s received, this seems to stem from a genuine reluctance almost bordering on shyness. But he has moved beyond simply not commenting. He now turns the very odd waltz between the reporter and the athlete into something resembling a parody of itself. Lynch was threatened with a half-million-dollar fine if he didn’t show up to take questions from people dressed like carrots at media day. (This, it must be said, is from a league that originally gave Ray Rice a two-game suspension.) So Lynch showed up, and he answered every question with the phrase, “I’m here so I won’t get fined.” To me, this seems a perfectly reasonable answer, and it clearly is the unvarnished truth. However, it was not received that way. All the people who had ginned themselves up beyond all recall to defend Western values against deflated footballs now rose up against Lynch for disrespecting … well … something anyway.

…Lynch owes only an honest day’s play for an honest day’s dollar, something he does with fair regularity, by my calculations. He doesn’t owe me or any mook like me any more than that. He does not owe The Brand any more than that, either. And in a way, that’s what the whole mad week was about. The Brand. The Patriots were accused of offending the league’s brand with deflated footballs. Kraft chose to try to protect his own brand instead of the league’s. And Lynch, god bless him, accused of heresy against all the brands, chose to laugh up his sleeve at the whole idea. In his own way, following his own drummer, Lynch is in rebellion against the tyranny of The Brand, and against all the artificial and corporatized encrustation that has covered all of our sports, and especially the NFL, and especially this one event. He may not be doing this consciously; I think he still just doesn’t like talking to strangers. But he’s striking a genuine blow against a genuine empire.

Play ball.

[Photo Credit: USATSI]


1 MSM35   ~  Jan 30, 2015 5:32 pm

Charlie Pierce wrote an article about Mr. Lynch having nothing to say. Perhaps he should have written nothing. When there is nothing to report say nothing.

2 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Jan 30, 2015 10:32 pm

Sorry Mr. Lynch. Jim Brown was a great player. You are no Jim Brown.

3 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 31, 2015 5:20 am

[1] Behold the 24-hour sports news cycle. It's Terrance Malick with the cast of Saturday Night Live, produced by TMZ and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel...

[2] No one is Jim Brown. Hyperbole is a sin >;)

4 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Jan 31, 2015 7:58 pm

[3] Total badass, of course. But the nostalgia around guys like Brown and Bill Russell is hard to take.. Grandpa OK Jazz says things like 'Jimmy Brown would have run over Lawrence Taylor and flattened him like a pancake..' and 'Russell would have easily shut down Shaq'. Ummm....

5 MSM35   ~  Jan 31, 2015 9:40 pm

[4] Actually Jim Brown was the best ever. Russell good as he was does not belong in that category. Now if you mentioned Sandy Koufax there is something to talk about.

6 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Feb 1, 2015 12:56 am

Yeah, Koufax, amazing as he was, quite over rated. Johan Santana very similar career stats!

7 RIYank   ~  Feb 1, 2015 8:02 am

Hm, well, Koufax had a much better ERA, a lot more strikeouts, and about 20% more WAR than Santana. So in that sense of 'very similar', sure!

By the way, I think the Lynch thing is kind of interesting, and nobody else in the media said what Charlie Pierce said, so to me it's a good, worth while story.

8 MSM35   ~  Feb 1, 2015 9:05 am

[6] With all due respect, judging a player by stats. alone misses the point. To paraphrase former Senator Lloyd Benson "I knew Sandy Koufax, Sandy Koufax was a friend of mine and Johan Santana was no Sandy Koufax.

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