These Stories About Marshawn Lynch Will Make You Feel So Many Feelings
Former Bills and Seahawks running back and Skittles aficionado Marshawn Lynch is well-known to football fans for his eccentricities more than anything else. The images of him indulging in his favorite candy on the sideline and spending an entire season refusing to speak to the media other than to say "I'm here so I won't get fined" are the visible legacy he's left behind since his premature retirement.
But there is another legacy he's created for himself that is far deeper and more personal than the unflappable weirdo that we already know and love.
In an excellent profile in the Seattle Times, staff reporter Jayson Jenks shares with us a different Marshawn Lynch; the Lynch that is as compassionate and loyal a friend as you could possibly ask for. Perhaps Thomas Rawls' mother puts it best when she says that "people are cheated when they don’t get to meet him on a real level.”
That sentiment becomes evident when you read what Lynch's former teammate Ricardo Lockette, and his father Ricardo Lockette Sr., have to say when they recall Lynch's visits to Lockette's hospital room after the wide receiver suffered a life-threatening and career-ending neck injury on the field.
"Lockette’s story started in a hospital room in Dallas on the day his football career ended," wrote Jenks. "He couldn’t move his neck. Offensive lineman Russell Okung was on his right, Lynch on his left. Lynch made Lockette laugh so hard that Lockette eventually told him: 'Bro, you’re going to kill me! I haven’t had surgery yet.' "
" 'He just told me, ‘Don’t be in here crying,'"Lockette said. " 'Don’t be doing all that crying because Beast Mode don’t cry, and if you cry, I’m going to cry.' "
Don't worry, the story only gets more emotional from here. Because what Lockette's father knew that he didn't is that Lynch, moments before entering his friend's hospital room, was rattled to the point of tears.
"A nurse comes up and says, 'We don’t know much about football, Mr. Lockette, but there’s a guy outside who says he needs to be in here. He says he plays with Ricardo, and his name is Marshawn Lynch.' I go to the lobby, and Marshawn has his bags. He said, 'I knew it was more than what they told me when I saw him go down. I knew it was more severe than that and I could not leave him here.' "
"What Ricardo didn’t know is that Marshawn peeked in the room and saw he was in there, in the bed, strapped down, couldn’t move, and he cried like a baby. Marshawn did. I won’t tell you everything he did, but he took a couple steps back and soaked those tears up, and he went in there and made my son feel like he could run and jump."
"And then on top of that, we didn’t know nothing about nothing. He asked us, 'How long are you guys going to be here?' We said, 'We don’t know. Until he gets up and walks again, we’re not leaving.' He said 'I’ve got you guys. You don’t have to worry about anything.' When I say he meant that, he really did. He took care of us for a period of time to make sure we didn’t have to worry about getting places, transportation, anything. He did that."
There's being a good supportive teammate, and then there's this whole other level of care and love that Lynch showed Lockette and his family. It takes a special kind of person to lift the spirits of everyone in the room under such dire circumstances, and Lynch is clearly one of kind in that way.
Another especially cute story is this one from the Seahawks' punter Jon Ryan, who describes the circumstances surrounding him introducing his Mom to the team's superstar running back.
"It was after a game where Marshawn had like 30 carries, a ton of touches, and he got beat up....My mom was like, 'Can you introduce me to Marshawn?’ I was like: 'It’s no problem. He’s beat up, he doesn’t want to talk right now, but he obviously will want to meet you really quickly.' So I went over and said: 'Marshawn, this is my mom. She just wanted to meet you.' And I kind of wanted to leave him alone. But Marshawn sat there and talked to her for a half hour. After that, probably once a month for the next three years, Marshawn asked how my mom was doing."
Oh my god why is this man so goddamned adorable? I knew he was a fun-loving dude when I watched him play Mortal Kombat with Conan O'Brien and Rob Gronkowski. But I had no idea that he was this guy. Seriously, everyone should be so lucky to have a friend or a coworker like Lynch; particularly in the NFL setting where egos and money can skew how players behave towards other human beings.
In his column for The Players Tribune this summer, Lockette wrote the following about his friend and brother Marshawn Lynch:
"A lot of people don’t know the real Marshawn. They don’t understand what kind of a man he is, and how much he does for his people in Oakland. My goal in life is to have 10% of the effect that Marshawn has on people’s lives."
It seems like that's probably a great goal for all of us to have.
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