Yesterday, during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl 50, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch announced his retirement in the most Marshawn Lynch way ever. He posted a picture on Twitter of a pair of cleats, presumably his own, hanging up.
This obviously means that he’s hanging up the cleats, but there was no real official announcement from the running back formerly known as Beast Mode. There were rumors that he was retiring, and he’ll now become the latest in a trend in the NFL of players retiring in their prime years. Just look at Calvin Johnson earlier this month and Patrick Willis last season for the 49ers. Lynch will be remembered for both his on the field, and off the field behaviors.
Lynch was about as unique as they come on the football field. The first round pick out of California was drafted to the Buffalo Bills 12th overall in 2007. He enjoyed a couple of 1,000 yard seasons while in Buffalo before injuries and legal troubles got him traded out west to Seattle, where his career really took off.
Lynch became a folk hero in his first career playoff game against the defending New Orleans Saints when Lynch broke more or less 1,000 tackles on his way to a 67 yard touchdown run.
That run, now known as the “Beast Quake” actually set off seismic activity near the stadium due to the roar of the fans during the run. The Seahawks would go on to upset the Saints in that game.
Following that 2010 season, Lynch would rattle off four straight 1,000 yard seasons and was nominated to the Pro-Bowl in each of those years. In that four year stretch, Lynch scored 56 total touchdowns, with 48 of those being on the ground. Lynch helped form the dynamic duo with quarterback Russell Wilson, in which they ran the zone read play with stunning success.
He was the main cog in a Seahawks team that reached back to back Super Bowls, winning one against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in blowout fashion. While his team won a Super Bowl with Lynch in the backfield, his most memorable moment came in the Super Bowl Seattle didn’t win, when Pete Carroll decided to not hand the ball of to Lynch even though they were at the one yard line, and Lynch had gashed the Patriots defense 102 yards and a touchdown already (he also had a 31 yard catch to begin the famous final drive).
Lynch’s reaction to not getting the ball in that situation was absolutely classic, as he was seen smiling when walked by head coach Carroll.
Off the field, Lynch will be remembered for his reputation with the media. His “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” stance during the week leading up to Super Bowl 49 was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.
But perhaps the funniest thing about Marshawn is the fact that this dude LOVES Skittles. The bruising running back literally eats this stuff likes it his job, and it might be because he doesn’t have one now. Too soon? But seriously, he eats them on the bench and fans even give him Skittles on the sideline.
Even in college he was a clown. This man literally drove a golf cart around the field before a game instead of warming up. Like this stuff is honestly too good to make up.
Lynch had a down year this year, mostly due to injuries. When he did play, he didn’t play all that well, averaging just 3.8 yards per game. He didn’t find the end zone until October and only had one game of over 100 yards. Beast Mode was replaced by Thomas Rawls on the depth chart late in the season, adding insult to injury, literally.
Anyways, Lynch retires as one of the best running backs of this generation. His power and surprising ability to find his way through holes made him one of the toughest running backs to stop. After his nine years in the league, Lynch ranks 36th all time in rushing yards with 9,112. His 74 rushing touchdowns put him at 24th all time. He’s only 29 years old, and while running backs tend to tail off after the age of 30, I think Lynch could have a couple more years of decent success before officially calling it a career. But if he doesn’t come back, his Hall of Fame case would be an interest one. But if he is done, let me be one of the first to say thanks for the memories Marshawn, we’ll miss you both on, and off the field.
Cover photo via Yahoo
Lynch Cleats photo via Twitter
Gifs via EA.com and FieldGulls.com