It takes a pretty big splash to make news in the middle of the Super Bowl, but Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch managed it. At 9:46 p.m., Eastern time, early in the fourth quarter of the game, Lynch posted a photograph of football shoes hanging from a telephone wire from his Twitter account. It was a subtle but clear message that he had chosen to end his football career at age 29.
By Monday morning, the message had been retweeted 175,000 times and favorited 150,000 times.
After three outstanding years at Cal, Lynch was drafted No. 12 over all by the Buffalo Bills in 2007. He ran for 1,000 yards in his first two seasons, but after a suspension for having a gun in the trunk of his car, he lost his starting job and was traded to the Seahawks for two middle-round draft picks.
It was a great trade for Seattle. Lynch reeled off 1,200 yards or more rushing in each of his first four full seasons with the Seahawks and led the league in rushing touchdowns in 2013 and 2014. He added four Pro Bowl selections to the one he had in Buffalo.
Expected to be a key player in last year’s Super Bowl against the Patriots, Lynch delivered, running for a game-high 102 yards and a touchdown. But with the game on the line and the Seahawks at the Pats’ 1-yard line, the team opted for a pass that was intercepted, baffling many fans who had expected Lynch to run it in.
An abdomen injury slowed him this season, and he did not play in the regular season after Nov. 15. He returned for the divisional round of the playoffs, but got only a few carries in a loss to Carolina.
Mere numbers do not show how memorable a player Lynch was. His less colorful nickname was Money. But the expression more commonly associated with him was Beast Mode.
To Lynch, the name went beyond the world of football:
“If you are in your everyday life and you feel like you just accomplished something big that you had going on, then that’s Beast Mode,” he told SB Nation. “It’s an accomplishment, that you put yourself through something to get something better out of it. I feel that that’s Beast Mode.”
Even his runs had nicknames. In January 2011, in a playoff victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Saints, Lynch rumbled for a 67-yard touchdown, eluding or breaking the tackles of at least half the defense. The run became known as the Beast Quake amid reports that the roar from the Seattle crowd had set off seismographs in the Pacific Northwest.
Source: The New York Times | VICTOR MATHER