So They Won’t Get Fined · 21 February 2015

A few weeks ago during the hype leading up to the Super Bowl, a friend of mine asked if I was going to write about Marshawn Lynch’s media day where he answered every question with some form of “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.” Five minutes of the same answer to every question. I read about it, but still have not watched it in any of its forms on YouTube. But I bet my son can sympathize with the amazing Seahawk running back.

Looking at the newspaper and YouTube, it appears that instead of turning people away because of his disdain for the media, Marshawn Lynch is gathering more and more fans. People love that he does not love the media. It is an endearing quality because many people do not like the media. For whatever reasons.

Cynics might think that Mr. Lynch is using the media to garner more fame and fortune. He is using reverse psychology in a way. Telling people to go away when he really wants them to come.

Somehow, I do not think that is all he wants. I am no media expert or psychologist, but I think Marshawn Lynch is like everybody else. He is just waiting for people to ask the right questions before he gives any real answers.

One of the reasons I have come to this conclusion about Mr. Lynch is because of an ESPN interview I saw. He was articulate about growing up. He gushed praise for his mother. It was fun to watch somebody just talk to the dynamic but quiet running back and hear his honest answers.

The other reason is because of my wife’s and my youngest son.

Our youngest son, Thing 3, is usually pretty quiet. He is a teenager in all his glory. He likes to read and play video games. And sometimes he likes to brood.

I have been frustrated at times talking with him because he likes to give one word answers to questions (like Mr. Lynch). Or sometimes he just grunts. We sit down to dinner almost every night and I try to draw him out. “What did you do at school today? How are your friends? What was the most exciting part of your day?” Normal parent questions. I never really realized how annoying I might be to Thing 3 until I read about Marshawn Lynch at media day.

I am glad that Thing 3 has not seen the interview. Not because I do not agree with Mr. Lynch or because I have no respect for him. Quite the contrary. I think that Marshawn Lynch is doing his job and doing it well. And he gets to show the world that he does not like all the parts of his job. I respect Marshawn Lynch and his attitude toward the media. (Even if as a blogger, I am technically part of that media.)

The reason I do not necessarily want Thing 3 to see the interview is because I do not want our dinner conversation to become the Marshawn Lynch show.

“How was your day son?”
“I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”
“How are your friends?”
“I’m just sitting here with you so I won’t get fined.”
“What was the most exciting part of your day so far?”
“Just eating my dinner so I won’t get fined.”

As much as I love the thought of a storied football player not playing to the media, I am not sure I want my son to emulate him in that respect. After all, Thing 3 already gives us short answers to every question we ask. And I am sure fining him is not the answer. But whether we fined him or not, Thing 3 could certainly carry his part of the conversation with the same aplomb of a certain running back. All the way through dinner. Just like Marshawn Lynch did for his required five minutes on a certain media day.

They’re both just there so they won’t get fined.

© 2015 Michael T. Miyoshi

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