Ready to Run

by Ryan

By now I’m sure you are aware that the Marshawn Lynch Saga is officially over. Chancellor Goodell won’t be dropping the hammer on Money, and barring a Fred Jacksplosion during the preseason, Lynch will be starting this fall.

To say this is great news is understating it a bit. In fact, let’s give you chills courtesy of 289. (His awesome Training Camp photos can be found here)

That feeling you got knowing what comes next? That’s what having an offensive threat in the backfield does for you. At any time Money can get the job done, and you can’t help but get excited for what comes next.

However, when good news like this comes you have to step back and realize what a bullet we just dodged.

Marshawn Lynch was lucky. No, really; he’s really, really , reeeeeeally lucky.

There could have been any number of things that screwed Money over this past month or so. First of all, the girl could have died. He could have been on the scene when caught and possibly intoxicated. He could have had “substances” on him. Heck, he could have mowed down that dancer in the crosswalk, too.

And that’s just the first night. From then on any number of people could have conspired to make things a whole lot worse than community service.

Now this is all information you know, but it is worth considering a second time. Marshawn is fortunate enough to be a pro football player, and we all know the rules are different for athletes of his caliber. If not for his name, things would currently be much more dire for the kid. This is something we as fans have gotten used to, and over time our concern for a player’s well being has gone from hoping they stay out of trouble to hoping they stay on the field.

Go back to what I led this very post with: Lynch will be starting this fall.

To most fans, including myself, that is what matters most. We are the people waiting for Chris Henry’s suspension to end last season so we can pick him up on the fantasy waiver wire. The same people considering Tank Johnson to fill up a defensive need. We as fans become personally attached to players when they perform well; only to distance ourselves when their personal lives become muddled. When they show up in the papers, we reduce their value to their production only.

In the case of Marshawn Lynch, I’d like to hope that doesn’t happen. I don’t want Marshawn Lynch at running back only because he runs well, I want him there because I really do like him. He truly seems like a genuine person, someone excited to play football in this city. To strip that lovable demeanor away and see him as just a running back would be a shame.

My hope is that this incident was the result of a person in the wrong place at the wrong time. Lynch made a mistake, and the hope of any fan is that he learns from this misstep and becomes both a better player and a better person because of it.

It may be wishful thinking, to consider a football player as anything more than such. However, isn’t that what being a sports fan is all about?