Conspiracy or Business: Did Lynch’s Image Play A Factor In Seattle’s Final Play?
BY: John “Hennry” Harris
Pete Carroll’s decision to call a pass play at the 1-yard line instead of handing the ball to Beast Mode has led to people coming up with theories of why the decision was made. The answer could be a lot simpler than one would think.
Let’s look at the facts.
The world became enamored with Marshawn Lynch because of his refusal to speak to the media and give them the all-access they felt they were owed. Lynch was more of an anti-star in that because many were drawn to him because of he defiance, justified or not. Lynch has dreadlocks and gold-teeth, two statements that put one word into the minds of mainstream Amerikkka .. thug. However, his production on the field and value to the team was undeniable and the Seahawks would not be in the Super Bowl without his contributions. Could you imagine what that press conference with Lynch could have been like after winning the MVP? “Ya’ll know why I’m here.” “I am here just so I don’t get fined.”
“Shout out to all my real Africans !!” “Yeah.” – Marshawn Lynch
Russell Wilson is young, plays quarterback and is whom the organization has chosen to be the “face” of the organization. Wilson, a duel-threat weapon running and passing, has led his team to the Super Bowl 2 out of his three years in the league and has helped the Seahawks rack up 42 wins since he has been in the NFL. Russell Wilson has been described by some sports writers as “Derek Jeter with a Bible” because of his looks, ability and squeaky clean image. If one might recall, earlier this season, the Seahawks locker room was divided because of Wilson’s favor he had with the organization leading some players to think that Wilson wasn’t Black enough.
Ok. Back to the 1-yard line. If Lynch would have ran that touchdown and won the game for the Seahawks, that would have given him 2 TDs on the night with a game-winning score and would have been a shoo-in for the game’s MVP.
The theory is that Pete Carroll sent in the pass play to set up Wilson, their favored player and preferred image-bearer for the organization, than to let Lynch get the glory. Understand this, coaches setting certain favored players up for glory is as old as sports itself. Add the politics of race, respectability and public relations then one could see this happening.
Think about it. Outside of the game itself, what is the Super Bowl known for? That’s right, the commercials and advertising! The Super Bowl is just as much as corporate, if not more, than the game itself.
Adding validity to this ‘theory’ is the fact that a journalist wrote, I contacted someone inside that locker room and they said to me as if on repeat: “Can’t believe it. We all saw it. They wanted it to be Russ. They didn’t want Marshawn to be the hero.” (thenation.com)
Mike Silver for the NFL Network also reported on these “mutterings” writing that he wanted to “refrain from lending any legitimacy to the conspiracy theory which one anonymous player was willing to broach: That Carroll somehow had a vested interest in making Wilson, rather than Lynch, the hero, and thus insisted on putting the ball in the quarterback’s hands with an entire season on the line. ‘That’s what it looked like,’ the unnamed player said, but I’d be willing to bet that he merely muttered it out of frustration, and that it was a fleeting thought.”
Did the less favorable image of Marshawn Lynch as compared to Russell Wilson play into the controversial play call?
It sure looks like it, but it would be irresponsible of me not to look at the flip-side as well.
Lynch was averaging 4.2 yards per carry in the game and was the NFL’s touchdown leader when the “play call” was made, but it is also a fact that Lynch was only one for five on the season when rushing from the 1-yard line. So, Lynch scoring is not automatic.
One also has to remember that Pete Carroll, then coach of USC, lost the 2006 National Championship to Texas because he chose to run and the clock ran out. That could have very well played into the decision as well.
Funny, how Lynch’s antics overshadowed New England’s cheating scandal in #DeflateGate and now this playcall is not only overshadowing the Patriot’s win, but digging a bigger hole to throw #DeflateGate and the ramifications of it into collective afterthought.
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