It’s no secret that Shawn Lynch (as We Fans Who Truly Love Him know he prefers to be called) is my favorite Seahawk. I’ve been calling him “Pookie” ever since I heard that Oakland accent last season – hooked on the mid-90’s style throw-em-up rock-a-grill know-thyself attitude. And of course, he can play … Well, like a Beast.
So ever since Percy Harvin went to the Jets in the controversial mid-season trade, rumors about Pookie have been flying. Is he also too difficult? Why didn’t he attend the White House event? How did missing much of training camp affect this season?
It’s important to remember a few things:
One of the chief allegations against Percy Harvin was that he divided the locker room – not him against the world, but division. Someone (or a few people?) were bound to be on his side. Pookie’s tweet following the Jets trade made it clear that this trade felt personal. The wording is intentional:
Damn they got my n*
This sentiment feels more raw and true than any media-darling canned response. It smacks of street mentality – a “we” vs. “them” that requires a bonded unity (close enough to refer to Homies as n*). It shows that Shawn still thinks of himself as an outsider in this game.
During the run for the Super Bowl last year, controversy swirled around Pookie for not wanting to speak to the media. His few interactions were painful to watch: anxious, short, uncomfortable.
I kept thinking to myself, why doesn’t the organization step in? Why don’t they argue that his Twitter account (new media) is addressing the media? Why isn’t there an accommodation for him? Why won’t they help out their star RB?
Individual players stepped up. Michael Robinson sat with Pookie at several media days, fielding questions on his behalf with grace and humor. Former NFL player and superstar Deion Sanders (who later claimed he knew how to approach Shawn), got the now-famous quote out of him:
I’m just all about that action, Boss
But it wasn’t the Seahawks organization that ever prevented his media fines or helped him out in any way with this (very clear) issue.
Similarly, when it came time for camp, Pookie (Twitter handle @moneyLynch) held out for more money. This move created a perception of selfishness a diva-esque behavior.
But I submit this: the Seahawks got to the Super Bowl with a stellar defense and a mediocre offense. It was Pookie who carried (sometimes quite literally) the offense. Without him, the Bowl never would have happened. We’re seeing that now, as the offense utilizes him less, rarely “feeding The Beast” so that his carry stats are comparably low.
The Seahawks weren’t willing to fight to pay him his due. He was offended. He settled for about 1 million extra. This sounds like so.much.money. But in a trillion dollar industry, those guys in suits sure do make a lot more money off of the dude carrying six lineman with him across the goal line.
Home is Where the Heart is
The most common rumor this morning is that Pookie will end up in Oakland. If that’s true – and that’s a big if – I can’t begrudge him that. He loves Oakland. His family there. All of his Foundation work centers there. He is so fundamentally … Oakland.
Even if he ends up the other rumored city – San Diego – it’s still Cali. Cali is a different place from the PacNW. I’ve lived in both places, and I can see Pookie being happier down-coast.
Rumors are Just That
So far, sources cited in all of this hoopla have been “insiders” or “close to the team.” We do have to remember that nothing is true until it is true.
It will break my little heart if I have to see my Pookie go, but I’ll deal if the time comes … Not until then.
It does help me realize what one of my friends meant when he advised me not to get to attached to players, and instead stay attached to the team.
Hugs and loves a grill-grins.