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When Marshawn Lynch announced his retirement during the Super Bowl, many people wondered how permanent it would be.
After all, Lynch is just 30 years old and seemingly still capable of giving a team good production at running back. His injury-plagued 2015 season also meant he went out with a whimper.
But in a wide-ranging interview with Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim, Lynch made it very clear that he is finished with football.
Not only did he make that clear simply by confirming that he’s finished, amid rumors he could play for his hometown Oakland Raiders, but Lynch’s answer to his favorite memory of playing football seems to show he’s done with the NFL.
When Wertheim asked Lynch to recall his “biggest football memory,” Lynch didn’t describe a moment in the pros – he described playing in the street as a kid.
Truthfully? Me, Josh, Zell, Dirty Rel, MBs, in the back alley on 55th [Avenue] and Foothill [Boulevard, in Oakland]. Dirty Rel was guarding Josh [Johnson, now a Ravens backup quarterback]. Josh ran a fake. There was a big-ass van on the side of the road. And Josh ran a post. Dirty Rel bit on the post – and when he turned around, he ran smack dead into the back of the van. You feel me? Drop. Game over…. They got up. They had to fight – they had a slap boxin’ in the middle of the street over that.
Lynch, who has been in the Super Bowl and the Pro Bowl, continued, saying that he likes the memory because it makes him and his friends laugh.
“That’s it,” Lynch said. “My younger years. Everything was cool. Not to downplay [my professional career]; I had a hell of a lot of fun doin’ what I did. But when we kick back and we’re howlin’ about that …”
Lynch was always viewed as a player who solely focused on football, in part because of his media-adverse ways. The logical conclusion was that Lynch didn’t care about the outside things – just football.
To hear Lynch talk about his favorite football memory – which involves little football, really, just a fight between his friends – it sounds as if there’s much more to one of the most unique personalities in sports. And though Lynch had “a lot of fun” in the NFL, it sounds like he is decidedly finished with that part of his life.