What I learned about myself from watching Marshawn Lynch

It would suck to make 6.5 million dollars.

I think I would have to quit my job in order to spend all of that money. Especially if I made that much every year. Controversial NFL player Marshawn Lynch made 6.5 million dollars last year and he acts like an entitled overpaid athlete, snubbing his fans, the media and the NFL by saying one phrase over and over in a media scrum, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”

“He acted like an entitled overpaid athlete, snubbing his fans, the media and the NFL by saying one phrase over and over in a five minute interview.”

This was my gut reaction when I watched a 45 second news spot about Lynch’s interview. I judged him. I judged him for what I assumed was disregard for his opportunity, his talent, his fans, the media and his employer.

If I responded to questions from my employer with the same ridiculous phrase over and over I would probably get fired. I judged Lynch because of how I think he should respond. And I know nothing about him. What I ignored was why Lynch might be doing all of this.

He has addressed several media interviews the same way, using one phrase to answer every question . “I’m just here so I won’t get fined,” “Thanks for asking,” and one more “You know why I’m here.”

I think I’ll try this with my wife and see how far it gets me:

Wife: “Take out the garbage.”

Me: Thanks for asking.”

Wife: “Pardon me?

Me: Thanks for asking.”

Wife: “Do you want to die?

Me: Thanks for asking

Wife: “Better call 911.”

Me: “Thanks for asking.”


Lynch is a gifted athlete, who has played for the NFL since 2007. He is also charitable and cares about his friends. He is not perfect, getting picked up for a DUI and charged with possession of a weapon. Why is it so easy to sit on the couch and judge a man who I have never met?

I am not much of a sports fan, but this story intrigues me. Lynch is speculated to be an introvert and to have social anxiety disorder. He grew up in Oakland California and overcame prejudice, peer pressure, past criminal involvement and little support in order to succeed.

Taking time to learn about the man behind the media changed me.

I realized that there is much more to his story. When you make that much money, companies can feel like they own you.

They want to hear us speak, but only if we’re saying something they want to hear.”

He has been fined for wearing the wrong color of shoes and may be fined for wearing the wrong hat. It makes me think that the NFL needs to learn a basic lesson about parenting: pick your battles.


Fighting over shoe color? Really? How old are these men? And how much money do the NFL executives make? The NFL commissioner is reported to make $44,000,000… yes, that is 44 Million Dollars. For one year of work. And they are fighting over color of shoes and the kind of hat he is wearing.

Everyone has a story and their story can change you if you are willing to be changed.

I mean, Oakland has really just taught me about life, and I feel that I’m proud of my city and I feel like [without it] I wouldn’t have been the man who I am today. I’d had ups and downs and I’ve been able to overcome ’em, just because I feel like being from Oakland I had to overcome so much. “

Marshawn Lynch

Story can change us. We are wired to be changed through story. If we listen, we will find out the why behind the story. And as only Lynch can say, “You know why I’m here.

Keep it real and “Thanks for asking.”

“A powerful story can have a hand in rewiring the reader’s brain – helping instill empathy…”

Lisa Cron. (See reference section)

Keep it real

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(I am now part of Amazon’s Affiliate program. I receive a referral fee if you purchase a resource through one of links in the article. It is just one more way you can support my blog.)

 Cron, L. (2012). Wired for story. Berkley: Ten Speed Press. Quote, page 3.

6 thoughts on “What I learned about myself from watching Marshawn Lynch

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