I try to catch at least part of the Super Bowl Media Day each year. The players and coaches get some different or unique questions thrown at them. We often see a personal side of these people that we don’t normally get to see.
It cost $28.50 just to get inside the US Airways Center to watch Media Day – and fans had to sit in the stands and observe.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady handled it well as did Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. So did Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked, “What kind of stuffed animals do you like” by a young reporter. Belichick actually cracked a smile and said he liked a puppet. He added, “You can kind of put your fingers in. It’s a little monkey and then he can talk and move his fingers and nod his head, so he can kind of talk back to you.” (Source)
Suddenly Belichick seemed human and for just a second people imagined him on the floor in his child’s bedroom playing with stuffed animals – and maybe laughing.
Then there was Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch. Lynch repeated 29 times variations of the line, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.” He left after about five minutes. (Source) Each team was required to be there for one hour.
Although some people (even some in the media) thought it was funny, I think Lynch is a jerk. What if every player and coach at Media Day answered questions that way? Lynch has done interviews before so it’s not that he is afraid to speak in public. He seems to think he’s sticking it to the NFL and the media; the NFL should stick it to Lynch and suspend him.
When an employee starts to believe he is bigger than the organization he is working for, it’s time to take him down a notch or two. Many years ago when I hired new people, during training I would give them a cartoon that shows two people speaking at a party. One person says to the other, “I’m not actually somebody myself, but I am on the staff of somebody.”
Lynch is part of something bigger: a team (Seahawks) and an organization (NFL).
Lynch is making about $8 million dollars this season which is part of his four-year $30 million contract that included a $6 million signing bonus. $17 million of his contract is guaranteed. (Source) Whether he likes it or not, part of Lynch’s responsibilities is to speak to the media and be an ambassador for the Seahawks and the NFL. Fining someone who makes millions a few thousand dollars is not the answer; suspension is.
There’s no “I” in team.
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