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The NFL is a little less fun this year without number 24 lining up in the backfield for the Seattle Seahawks. Because you probably haven’t seen Beast Mode run in a while, I submit to you this video of “Beast Quake,” his career-defining run in the Seahawks’ 2011 wild card game versus the Saints, that you forgot how much you loved.
Marshawn Lynch was a football fan’s football player. He hated the NFL and all the formalities that came along with it, but that never overshadowed his undeniably phenomenal work on the field. The media and the league wanted to make a spectacle of him, but the joke was on them — he already was a spectacle. One of the most fun-to-watch players of all time, football is worse off without Beast Mode — and so are the Seattle Seahawks.
Here are some pretty incredible stories of the man behind the Mode as told by his former teammates, from The Seattle Times:
LB Bobby Wagner
“As a rookie, you kind of go too hard at practice. He came to the defensive huddle and told me I was going too hard and really was getting in my face. And then after practice, he came up to me and was like: ‘Don’t stop doing what you’re doing. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you could be really good in this league.’ It was a test to see if I was going to back down. Ever since that point, he’s always been on me: ‘Don’t be like the other linebackers.’ He played against Ray Lewis and all those guys, and he was trying to say the linebackers now are going away from that. He was always putting it in my head, ‘Don’t be like everyone else.’”
C Justin Britt
“Any time I see Marshawn, he always asks how my kids are doing. He was always there at my daughter’s birthday parties. That meant a lot. She doesn’t know what’s going on, but it meant a lot to me that he cared enough about his offensive lineman’s family to show up to the party. He didn’t have to. I didn’t beg him or anything. Just invited him. But he went out of his way to show up, and he always asks how my family is doing.”
OL Garry Gilliam
“It was last year, toward the beginning of the year, when we weren’t doing so well. It was before one of our Saturday meetings before a game. I was there, Russell Okung was there, and Marshawn was there, and they were talking. I went up to him, and I forget exactly what we were talking about, but he was talking about his mentality and how he goes into a game. … He was like, ‘You just have to say (expletive) them, (expletive) everything they stand for. You go out there and impose your will on them. Just be that person. It doesn’t matter what they’re doing, who they are, what they are. Just (expletive) them and go do it. Go beat their (expletive).’ Honestly, I was like, ‘You’re right.’ When he plays, you can see that. He doesn’t care what’s going on, who it is, what it is, if the play is broken down. He’s just like, ‘(expletive) him. I’m about to go handle my business.’”
P Jon Ryan
“It was after a game where Marshawn had like 30 carries, a ton of touches, and he got beat up. I was in a restaurant with my mother, and him and his uncle and a friend came and sat down. It was a totally quiet restaurant. No one else was in there. My mom was like, ‘Can you introduce me to Marshawn?’ I was like: ‘It’s no problem. He’s beat up, he doesn’t want to talk right now, but he obviously will want to meet you really quickly.’ So I went over and said: ‘Marshawn, this is my mom. She just wanted to meet you.’ And I kind of wanted to leave him alone. But Marshawn sat there and talked to her for a half hour. After that, probably once a month for the next three years, Marshawn asked how my mom was doing.”
Lynch sounds like the nicest, most genuine dude ever. And, despite the fact that the NFL tried to paint him as some sort of villain, I don’t think that surprises any of us.
Check out the rest of these awesome Marshawn Lynch stories on The Seattle Times‘ website..
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[via The Seattle Times]