So Marshawn Lynch, while on a trip to Turkey with the non-profit group American Football Without Borders, stopped by NTV Spor and admitted that he was expecting his number to be called on the play when Russell Wilson threw the interception that ended the hopes for back-to-back Super Bowl wins for the Seattle Seahawks and their fans.
"To be honest with you, I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I was expecting the ball," Lynch said. "Yes, I was expecting the ball. But in life, these things happen. Like I told a reporter after the game, it's a team sport."
Lynch was joined by Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams and Browns tight end Gary Barnidge, who actually founded the group.
While Lynch seemed very relaxed on the program and happy to contribute to the discussion, the issue was actually stirred up by Williams and the host seemed relieved that it was raised by someone other than himself, yet excited that the issue was actually brought up in the interview.
While most media organizations were probably salivating when they heard that Lynch was going on television, hoping that he would give them some "tune-in" worthy quotes and reactions, the man known as "Beast Mode" was actually very comfortable in addressing the issue. And, to the dismay of these anxiously awaiting entities, Lynch continued to prove just how loyal he is as a teammate by stating the following:
"I had no problem with the decision of the play-calling. I mean, you know ... I think it was more of a ... how do I say this? When you look at me, and you let me run that ball in ... I am the face of the nation. You know, MVP of the Super Bowl ... that's pretty much the face of the nation at that point of time," Lynch said. "I mean, maybe it was a good thing that I didn't get the ball. I mean, you know, it cost us the Super Bowl. I mean, I have full ... I have full confidence in my teammates to execute that plan because we've done it so many more times. But would I love to had the ball in? Yes, I would have."
"But the game is over, and I am in Turkey."
It's a shame that most focus on his memorable one-liners, post-game statements and Super Bowl comments rather than his passion for football and his dedication to his teammates and the sport. This is a man that comes to play every game, doesn't moan and groan about play calling and would prefer to give his time to helping those in his old neighborhood and preparing for the season and gameday rather than dish out predictions or discuss what occurred after the game.
The man comes to play and leaves it all on the field, which is what is asked of every athlete across every sport.
There's a reason why you don't hear players complain about his attitude, why his linemen love blocking for him and rave about him in interviews. But with the need to generate press, online views and digital traffic, reporters are really looking for his distant responses and Vine qualifying post-game statements instead of giving him props for the passionate, positive, strong black man that he is.
The best part was that he got to promote his Beast Mode line the entire time. We hope that it sells out in Turkey too.