This fanpost has been brought to you by the following words and numbers: The snowball effect. Mob mentality. Scapegoat. Misguided frustration. 7-9. 6-10. 23.
For your consideration, I submit a May 14 article by Bob Matthews of the Democrat and Chronicle, Leading with the headline, "Marshawn Lynch's days as a Buffalo Bill seem numbered." Keep in mind, the text in the box is the entire transcript concerning Lynch:
This week's signing of running back Chad Simpson by the Buffalo Bills made it all the more likely that the Buffalo Bills will trade Marshawn Lynch before the 2010 season starts. That's assuming the Bills can find a taker, and it is difficult be believe that no team is interested.
Simpson's best hope to make the Bills probably is as the No. 1 kickoff returner, replacing running back Fred Jackson and cornerback Leodis McKelvin. Jackson — or Lynch — would share carries with rookie C.J. Spiller.
No biggie, right? Matthews says Simpson will have a small chance to make the roster, but hey, it's a great opportunity to get a headline jab in concerning everyone's favorite whipping-thug.
So? The man has a quota to fill. Who cares, right?
Well, Michael Fabiano of NFL.com Blogs and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk care, because they have quotas, too. And now that Matthews, a Buffalo media member, has provided 'a source' for these guys to link to, it's open season to further trade rumors about Lynch. This is where the snowball starts rolling down the hill under it's own weight. Fabiano uses the Fantasy Football angle to tell you why Lynch needs to go:
With several months between now and the regular-season opener, there’s plenty of time for the Bills to deal Lynch. Fantasy enthusiasts should hope that’s exactly what happens.
While I really enjoy fantasy football, I am first and foremost a Bills fan, and I believe the team is stronger with an option like Lynch. (By the way, why would all 'fantasy enthusiasts' want this? Only Fred Jackson/CJ Spiller owners benefit, and a back on the team who ends up with Lynch would loose value. No logic here, just ego.) So the D&C headline was the source/excuse for this nonsense, but it gets better.
Here's the reporting integrity of Florio on display; another drop in the bucket for this tabloid troubadour:
As Bob Matthews of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle observes, the recent addition of running back Chad Simpson could be even further proof that Lynch will be leaving.
The Bills reportedly have been willing to move him -- and they reportedly wanted last month a second-round selection. To get value for him, however, they'll likely have to lower their sights.
'Reportedly,' Mike? Did you miss the statement by the Bills' GM stating Lynch is under contract, and the Bills want him to stay? I guess that really doesn't matter, because the Bills signed Simpson, and Bob Matthews wrote a headline.
What is this 'mob mentality' you speak of, Undee?
It's not hard to see why some people in Buffalo don't like Lynch. His actions have been immature and arrogant. He has not been, in sireric's astute phrase of choice, a dependable individual. He has a polarizing image.
But it's not hard to see a band-wangon form, either. We have a sheriff's wife and a former soldier involved in rumors of theft by Lynch. We have Thurman Thomas going public with his "if I were the GM, he'd be gone." And we have Buffalo Rumblings, where this debate is worn as thin as Lynch's welcome. The epitome of this saga, so far, might be encompassed in the Patrick Moran opinion at Buffalo Sports Daily. From the picture he posted to his apologizing for the behavior of the great Bills because they won games, Moran has turned up the heat in this little soap opera.
How about this 'scapegoat,' and misguided frustrations?
Try this mental exercise--would everybody have torches and pitchforks if the Bills were winning football games?
The reason I felt compelled to write this fanpost stemmed from a comment by 'Kyle,' in response to the Moran piece, where he summed up what I am trying to convey:
You can’t just take out the anger of a struggling franchise on one guy. Lynch hasn’t been an angel by any means, but the guy runs behind one of the bottom five O-lines in the league and still has a pro bowl and two out of three thousand yard seasons. He is a beast when it comes to playing football. Regardless, his off the field transgressions aren’t half as bad as some of the things many of the other players in the league are GUILTY of. Also, I love ThuThom, but the era they played in didn’t face half the scrutiny this generation does and to say he wouldn’t last in that locker room is a joke. Some of the biggest messes of all time played for those 90’s Bills teams and their off the field antics were overshadowed by a winning organization. If Marshawn keeps his nose clean and runs hard instead of dancing through the hole this year – you and the rest of the haters will be eating your words. How about supporting the teams players who actually produce instead of bashing them? There’s a novel idea Buffalo. One bad season and this guy is Satan’s Spawn. Ridiculous.
Kyle, I hope you are a Rumbler, too. Here's mad props.
Is anyone ready go on record and say that the Bills struggles on the field are a result of Lynch's off-field behavior? If anything, his suspension may have helped the Bills by allowing Fred Jackson a chance to prove himself as a solid feature back.
But don't take my word for it. Don't take keysh, Poz, and a select few other Rumblers words for it. Instead, let a Miami Dolphins fan, rollonyoufish, (in a reply to the Fabiano article,) have a stab:
the fact that im a cal fan has nothing to do with it, Lynch could be one of the best rb's in the leauge. Majority of the time hes running the ball hes breaking tackles as soon as he gets the ball. Put him on a team thats on there way to greatness....a team like the Dolphins
Watching Lynch drag a host of Buffalo defenders over the goal line would be pretty hard to stomach.