Marshawn Lynch’s appearance on ESPN’s “Manningcast” earlier this season was a hit, and Amazon Prime executives likely took notice. The streaming service has targeted the former NFL running back as a feature reporter/analyst for its exclusive “Thursday Night Football” package beginning next season.
Lynch is appealing to fans because of his unfiltered authenticity. There is nothing coded or scripted about him. He might drop an F-bomb or two, but who hasn’t? He has great stories and is a natural storyteller.
The way fans consume sports is changing. If you want to attract and retain a younger audience you need to present sports differently.
The idea would be to have Lynch as part of a more relaxed studio-type show, conducting interviews with players. If Amazon is smart they’d move away from the idea of a “studio” entirely and allow for something more casual and organic.
Lynch is naturally funny, any interaction he would have with a player or coach would be great. The smartest thing to do is not limit or constrain him with a “studio” or traditional “interview” set up. Give him a loose framework, but allow him to be himself within that.
It’s funny that a media platform wants Lynch, considering his stance on media while he was a player.
Of course there was his famous Super Bowl XLIX media day session. “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”
This was on the heels of that regular season where Lynch was fined heavily for refusing to do several media sessions as mandated by the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and NFL Players Association.
Later that year, Lynch trademarked “I’m Just Here So I Won’t Get Fined.”
We take sports too seriously as a society. It’s entertainment, we are supposed to have fun with it. Having Lynch as a broadcaster would up the fun quotient for sure and transform sports coverage.
The success of ESPN’s “Manningcast” has shown that sports can be delivered in a different way with the right personalities. Many people care about the Mannings, and their dynamic as brothers plays well to audiences.
We care about Marshawn Lynch. He is someone audiences feel like they know and/or can relate to. We know he’s not feeding us any BS, and that’s a quality that plays well on television or streaming in this case. He’s a natural.
There is no official contract yet, Amazon has made it known that Lynch is the guy they want. Now they’ll have to convince him. Money may not be the motivating factor either.
Lynch is always putting on for his hometown of Oakland, California, and uplifting his community. If Amazon Prime can make a commitment there or if the platform allows him to do more for the town it would be a win-win.
Lynch, nicknamed Beast Mode, was a five-time Pro Bowl player, two-time All-Pro, and a two-time rushing touchdown leader during his NFL career. He was beloved by his teammates and made sure he always repped and gave back to his community.
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