February 2, 2015
Marshawn Lynch's subversion of his Super Bowl press conference is a reminder of our call to redefine others' demands on us.
I am not sure I can entirely endorse his actions. I am not even clear what example he is setting. Is he showing people how to subvert expectations or is he just showing plain bad attitude and a lack of gratefulness and responsibility for what he has received? I am really not sure.
One thing is for sure, if most of us adopted analogous actions (using a single reply to annual performance review questions, writing nonsense in tax forms, answering a police officer's questions with names of fruits), we would probably get fired, or end up in jail. It was only his position and existing reputation that allowed him the chance to do what he did and not end up in the unemployment queue. Is what he did a good use of that platform? A more creative way might have been to be brutally and uncomfortably honest. Something like:
"What do you think of your chances?"
"Well, if I avoid broken legs, subdural hematoma and stay away from the steroids I keep getting offered, I should be fine. Not sure what my job prospects are after I retire though. Not many companies want to hire people who's only skills are carrying pig bladders full of air from one end of a muddy field to another and answering inane interviews from people, who, quite frankly, would rather suit up than file another article on the cornerback's nose hair."
That would have been much more creative, much funnier and would have shown a much more constructive attitude. It would have also done a better job at showcasing the banality of the interview, surely.
Marshawn is doing the NFL a favor, showing them that one size fits all rules often creates bad results.
If the NFL is smart, they'll start thinking about providing incentives for players who enjoy and are good at yacking with the press to do that, and not require it by force of those who are neither.
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