Marshawn Lynch On Film, From Game Tape To Local Cable Advertising

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In this era of professional football, running backs tend to be as treasured and as long-lasting as a disposable razor. And yet, in spite of that, there is Marshawn Lynch.

Thanks to other metropolitan media markets, you might recognize Lynch as the gold-toothed eye at the center of the Super Bowl coverage storm. Here in Seattle, he is ours—well, for now, as he is always and forever Oakland’s—for the fifth glorious consecutive season. And, hey: keep your grubby little takes off him.

Enigmatic? Yes, Lynch certainly is. More accurately and more importantly, he has one of the driest, most refined senses of humor of any public figure you’ll see, and he won’t compromise his sensibility to help a hits-thirsty reporter file that salacious scoop-quote. All it takes is a quick dig through YouTube to reveal a vast treasure trove of Lynch being his hilarious self.

For instance, back when Lynch was with the Bills, here he is matching Kenny Mayne deadpan for deadpan as the two explored Buffalo’s nightlife:

Or here’s Lynch all the way back in his high school days at Oakland, yet unjaded by the media, a clip that Pete Carroll uploaded on his personal YouTube channel:

And there’s Lynch being incredibly open, detailed, and hilarious about The Run—of course, he’s only decided to be so open because he’s being interviewed by a Spanish channel, so why not:

Though available for worldwide consumption, these moments of supreme Lynch-ness may come as a surprise for viewers who were only familiar with Marshawn’s unique vow of silence/non-silence at the Super Bowl.

Here in Seattle, however, there is a moment of Lynch goofiness that we have all witnessed perhaps dozens of times, a thirty-second slice of video work that provides significant insight into the values and priorities of Marshawn Lynch. Game day heroics aside, a kitschy local ad spot is the primary method that Seattle has been given to know and love its Beast Mode.

Consider that, in this 2014 season, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman have leapt into the uppermost strata of NFL players who appear in national commercials. On Sundays, Wilson and Sherman have quickly become inescapable, joining similarly ubiquitous players like Clay Matthews, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III, Justin Tuck (still!) and of, course, Peyton Manning as the NFL’s most visible endorsers. (Sorry not sorry, Brian Orakpo.)

Since Lynch is just as important to the Seahawks’ wildly sustainable success as either Wilson or Sherman, it stands to reason that, if Lynch desired, he too could be beaming at you between quarters while enjoying the plentiful benefits of the nationally distributed soft drink/insurance coverage/headphones/fantasy platform/sandwich in question.

Instead, he’s on heavy rotation in greater Seattle in a commercial for Beacon Plumbing, which boasts the brilliant catch-phrase, “Stop freakin’, call Beacon!”  

Please witness:

This commercial gives us access to a fantastical alternate universe in which Lynch not only works as a plumber but he also possesses several extrahuman superpowers. Consider the following features of this beautiful world, and his place within it:

  • Lynch boldly saunters to the front door with nary a tool in hand or on belt. Even without knowing the specific nature of this particular plumbing crisis, Lynch has already anticipated that he will be able to solve any foreseeable problem with his bare hands.

  • The family beset by these issues immediately
    recognizes Lynch and his tackle-busting alter-ego, “Beast Mode.”
    From this, the viewer is led to believe that Lynch has maintained his
    regular job as Seattle Seahawks running back, and has become a Beacon plumber on the side and/or in the offseason.

  • When confronted with the dilemma of a clogged kitchen sink, Marshawn’s solution is to send a stiff-arm, if you will, deep into the drain, a move powerful enough to rock the foundations of the house with seismic tremors. He extricates a plastic ball from the drain, immediately solving the problem. From this, it seems reasonable to hypothesize that Lynch-as-plumber is gifted with some sort of extrasensory perception, with which he is able to sense plumbing snafus that are not visible to the conventional human eye. More on this “Plumber’s ESP,” or PESP, a bit later.

  • By effortlessly removing an entire toilet from the bathroom, it would
    appear at first glance that Lynch-as-plumber has been gifted with
    exceptional strength. But the Lynch of this universe already has
    considerable strength. Look closer. Lynch-as-plumber has, in fact, been gifted with the ability to read minds: He has already removed the entire toilet before the client has finished her sentence recommending that he do so.

  • It could be argued that by sending Lynch on a third task, the client is
    at this point taking advantage of Lynch’s services, and the speed and ease with which he has solved the previous two plumbing dilemmas. By simply crouching on the client’s lawn, Lynch is able to perform an underground scan that confirms the structural integrity of the sprinkler system. This moment also serves as confirmation that Lynch-as-plumber has indeed been gifted with PESP, as he has performed this task in a way that a conventional human would simply be unable to do.

  • To conclude the commercial, we are given further confirmation of Lynch’s exceptional strength. He bursts through a cement wall, Kool-Aid Man-style, sweeping the cinderblocks aside with only his open hands.

It’s worth wondering what, exactly, Beacon Plumbing is advertising about
their services with this campaign. I will assume that their plumbers do not work with quite the speed and superpowers that Lynch-as-plumber possesses, and I will also assume that Marshawn Lynch himself has not once been dispatched for service calls. I propose this interpretation: With this advertisement, Beacon Plumbing is showcasing their ability to secure Marshawn Lynch to act in a commercial, a feat that precious few other business have yet to accomplish. Is this not a truly mighty
selling point?

And so, if Lynch has ever seemed like a mumbly hermit to you over his last, terse week, remember that here in Seattle, we have constantly watched him lift toilets and walk through cement walls for his fellow Washingtonians. In so doing, Lynch has proven himself to be one of us, similarly un-immune to the hassles of household chores. He will answer only the questions he wishes to answer, but perhaps this toilet-hoisting generosity is one of those answers.

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