Retirement — or something — has loosened up Marshawn Lynch.
The longtime NFL running back was known as much for his reluctance to participate in the media process as his physical running style, but now that he’s promoting things he’s opening up.
Lynch talked for 45 minutes with John Kryk of the Toronto Sun, expounding on many topics from his philanthropic efforts in Oakland to the end of the Seahawks’ Super Bowl loss to the Patriots.
But nothing was as eye-opening as when Kryk asked Lynch what his first act would be if he were named Commissioner of the NFL.
“Legalizing dodi in the league. Yup,” Lynch replied, which sent Kryk to the internet to learn that was slang for marijuana.
Asked if he thought that was coming, the unlikely candidate to lead the sport said he thinks it would help.
“I don’t know. It’s a tricky league. I would like to see it,” he said. “Just now, with being retired. The aches and pains that I’d be feeling before, a little do’, man. I get up, go work out, and you know, partake, do my thing and s— — and I’m cool. Maybe it’s because I’m not banging into anybody anymore.”
It could be that, as Lynch banged into every available opponent for 10,739 yards over 11 NFL seasons.
Asked about his punishing running style, Lynch said his approach to running was based on intimidating defenders.
“I am not a workout warrior. I think it’s more of a mental type of situation. A mindset,” he said. “A defensive player’s mindset of an offensive player is he’s a p—-. So if you hit him hard, just one time, then they usually just curl up for the rest of the game. Like, they don’t want to catch the ball, they don’t want to run the ball. They don’t want nothin’ to do with the ball when there’s contact involved. So as a running back, I just adapted the mentality that if you hit a motherf—– hard enough, they don’t want to hit you no more.
“Against any defensive player. It ain’t just cornerbacks who I want to hit. I want to hit defensive linemen, I want to hit linebackers, I want to hit people standing on the sideline — it don’t matter as long as you got on an opposite jersey and I’ve got an opportunity to hit you. I mean, that’s what I want to do.
“If I hit you hard enough, and you’re supposed to be hitting me? The next time you see me coming you’re going to think twice about hitting me. Or you’re going to try a different angle, or you’re going to try to trip me — some s— that I know is not gonna work.”
It’s a fascinating interview, the side of himself he chose not to show many people.
And now, the idea of Commissioner Marshawn will occupy the rest of my day, imagining him leading CBA negotiations and brokering broadcast deals in his own inimitable style, but definitely not getting booed at the Draft.