Column: Beast Mode retires on his own terms
By now, you know the Denver Broncos are the 2016 Super Bowl champions, beating the Carolina Panthers 24-10 behind a dominating defensive performance led by Super Bowl MVP Von Miller.
The Seahawks will enter this next season as one of the favorites to reach the 2017 Super Bowl, but they’ll have to do it presumably without Marshawn Lynch.
Lynch posted a tweet of a pair of his cleats hung up on a telephone pole with a peace emoji during the fourth quarter of the big game and Seahawks fans were quick to sound off. Lynch will be missed as he’ll retire as, arguably, the best Seahawk running back of all time.
He wasn’t just good though, he was thoroughly fun to watch– on and off the field.
Throughout his tenure with the Seahawks Lynch had a flare for the unpredictable and unprecedented. The man led the 7-9 Seahawks to a playoff victory in his first season with the team and first playoff game as an NFL player. That was the game he broke eight tackles and leapt into the end zone grabbing his crotch to cap off his “beast quake” run in front of the raucous home crowd. It was one of those moments, as a fan, you will always remember where you were when it went down. From there we should have known we had something special, someone that would lead the Seahawks to its first championship in franchise history.
Then there’s Skittles, the colorful candy that will never be the same since Lynch. The candy is now a mainstay for Seahawks fans as it was revealed they had been Lynch’s go-to snack during games. It was this delightful oddity that furthered the legend that is/was Beast Mode. Furthering that legend were his strolls into the endzone against the heated rival San Francisco 49ers, or a second “beast quake” run against the Arizona Cardinals, and just overall unwillingness to ever be tackled. It was simply Lynch being Lynch, and we loved every second of it.
Oh and the sound bites.
“I’m just about that action, boss.”
“I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”
“You know why I’m here.”
The list goes on and on.
It’s all of these things that made him great, but in a different way. For as fantastic as Russell Wilson is or Peyton Manning, there’s something ultra special about a guy who can be quirky– and more importantly, be himself– and be praised for it.
This of course all wouldn’t mean as much if not for the 2014 Super Bowl win, which only cements his legacy even further. If not for Lynch, Seattle would still be starved of a professional championship.
Lynch might not be riding into the sunset in the same way that Manning is, but he’s doing it his way just as he’s done things his whole career. The world of sports are unforgiving, and for him to be able to do that while still giving so much back to Seattle is as good as gold.
On behalf of all 12s, thanks for the memories Lynch… we’ll see you in the Ring of Honor.