The threat of fines has not deterred Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch from grabbing his crotch after scoring touchdowns. But the threat of a 15-yard penalty might.
The NFL wants Lynch to know that officials will be on the lookout and ready to assess a 15-yard penalty if Lynch does it again. NFL V.P. of Officiating Dean Blandino told ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio that the Seahawks have been warned that if Lynch makes an obscene gesture at any time during Super Bowl XLIX, the Seahawks will be penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Blandino told Paolantonio that if Lynch grabs his crotch after scoring a touchdown, “that means they will kick off from the 20 yard line.”
That’s where the Seahawks would have kicked off after Lynch scored a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship Game. If the officials had seen Lynch grab his crotch, he would have been penalized.
Lynch got away with it that time. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll will probably tell Lynch in no uncertain terms that he can’t risk it in the Super Bowl. If Lynch wants to pay a fine out of his own paycheck, that’s his business. If he hurts the team, that’s another story.