“Take care of y’all chicken”
Marshawn Lynch’s NFL career, which in all likelihood ended with the Seahawks’ loss to the Packers last night, will be remembered for two things: his punishing running style and his humorous interactions with the media. It’s no secret that Lynch isn’t particularly fond of taking questions from the press, even though he’s been slightly more talkative in recent years than he was during 2015’s “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” Super Bowl Media Day appearance.
Lynch’s postgame press conference after Seattle was eliminated lasted a grand total of 90 seconds. He answered four questions in 11 words, and then he spoke for more than a minute, uninterrupted, about what younger players should do to make sure their futures are secure after football.
“It’s a vulnerable time for a lot of these young dudes, you feel me?” Lynch said. “They don’t be taking care of their chicken right. If they was me, or if I had the opportunity to let these young [guys] know something, I’d say take care of your money, because that s--- don’t last forever. Now, I done been on the other side of retirement and it’s good when you can get over there and you can do what the f--- you want to.
“I’ll tell y’all right now while y’all in it, take care of y’all bread. When y’all done, go ahead and take of yourself. While y’all at it right now, take care of your bodies, take care of your chicken, take care of your mentals, because look, we ain’t lasting that long. I had a couple players that I played with that are no longer here. So start taking care of your bodies, your mentals and your chicken. So when you’re ready to walk away, you walk away and be able to do what you want to do.”
He’s absolutely right, of course. You might not realize it because it’s exceedingly rare that Lynch speaks at length like that, but he’s one of the smartest players in the NFL. He had a 3.5 GPA in high school and scored 1200 on the SAT before pulling a 3.2 GPA during his time at UC-Berkeley.
Lynch also practices what he preaches. He has earned almost $57 million playing in the NFL but he’s smart enough to set himself up for the future by investing that money in other ventures. In 2013, he created his Beast Mode clothing brand to “take care of his chicken,” as he would say, and later expanded his business interests to include a restaurant, Facebook video series and endorsements for everything from candy to BMX bikes. If Lynch decides to come back next season, it’ll be because he still feels like running over some dudes, not because he needs the cash.
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