NEWARK - Usually it's the reporters who provide the absurdity of Media Day at the Super Bowl. The ones dressed in sombreros and superhero capes or, as was the case this year, as Where's Waldo.
Marshawn Lynch out-stranged them all.
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The Seahawks running back participated in the festivities in the most literal way possible on Tuesday. He showed up. What he did not do for most of the hourlong session was engage any of the questions hurled at him. He simply stood there, the hood of his warm-up suit pulled over his head and most of his face covered with oversized sunglasses.
It was a bizarre lack of interaction, like people watching a lion at the zoo as it sleeps on a rock. You expect the lion to roam around, maybe roar a bit at the very least. But it just stays there looking at you looking at it.
Lynch, a four-time Pro Bowler, was not at a podium, which is unusual for a player of his stature. He stood in a penned-off area for "other" players as relatively unknown offensive linemen and kickers walked past him. He did field several questions with short, straightforward answers for about 61/2 minutes.
Are you having the time of your life at the Super Bowl? "Yeah."
Does he enjoy media attention? "Nope. I'm just about action . . . All the unnecessary talk, it don't do nothing for me. I appreciate that people want to hear from me, but I just go to work and do my thing. You feel me?"
Then he walked away, ducking behind the Super Bowl XLVIII screen.
An NFL official coaxed Lynch to return, and he did several minutes later. But rather than answer any questions, he simply stood against the backdrop as if he was waiting for a bus.
There were a few times when Lynch moved. He warmly greeted NFL Network analyst and former cornerback Deion Sanders (a person, oddly enough, who never met a Media Day he didn't like). At one point he was asked if he was simply standing there to avoid a fine.
A follow-up: Was his mere physical presence enough to avoid the fine?
In fact it was. The NFL has taken issue with Lynch's media responsibilities in the past; he was unavailable to Seattle media for most of the season and was fined $50,000 earlier this month. He appealed that fine and had it held in abeyance pending his future cooperation with the media. Apparently Tuesday was considered cooperative.
"Players are required to participate and he participated," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. "We will continue to monitor the situation."
Lynch has two more mandatory media obligations this week, one Wednesday and one Thursday. The last player known to skip one of those was former Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora during Super Bowl XLVII. The league fined him $20,000.
"My fans love me regardless," Lynch said in response to one of the early questions about his stance with the media. "They love the Seahawks. They aren't worried about what I've got to say. They just want to make sure I show up to perform."