This year’s Cover Story Interview revealed

It’s time to reveal this year’s Cover Story interview: it’s Marshawn Lynch.

Look, I don’t want to be accused of creating too much “hype” on Lynch. I know he’s not the most dynamic back in the league. But neither was Emmitt Smith when he played.

I wanted Lynch for a few reasons. For one, he’s going to be a high pick, likely a top-10 pick, yet I don’t think people know much about him. It’s gotta be a little odd using a #1 pick on a player you’re not that familiar with. People don’t know a lot about Lynch because he doesn’t really seek out publicity, something I talk a lot to him about in the interview.

I also wanted him on the cover because, if healthy, he has no downside and ample upside. He’s a “football player” who “brings it” on every carry, and he’s not afraid to “bang it up in there,” something that cannot be said for several young backs.  

I’m still working on the article, but I’ll throw up a rough draft of the introduction because it’s interesting in how I kicked things off with Lynch after meeting him. I definitely hit it off VERY well with him, and it’s safe to say Marshawn Lynch is now my “dawg.” In fact, I was complimented by the head of PR for the Buffalo Bills, who told me he wished the team’s beat writers would “make the same type of effort to connect with our players.” My introduction to Lynch, as you’ll read below, was the talk of the Bills’ media relations department last Wednesday. 

Begin article intro:

As a father of four, there is myriad of stresses in my life, but one thing I sweat particularly hard each year is our cover interview. The whole process is littered with potential pitfalls. Do I pick the right guy? Will his team or agent be helpful in securing the face time? Will the player actually agree to it and follow up? And even if the answer to all these questions is yes, will something catastrophic happen, like my cassette tape being eaten up, which actually happened to me last year (next year I’m going digital, finally)?

I like to do these in person, to get a true sense of the player, and I rarely have much time to mess around, and with plane travel usually involved, it’s basically a one-shot deal, so I almost feel as if planetary alignment is required if everything goes perfectly as planned.

As I told the budding star below, one of the reasons I really wanted to get Lynch was because he’s poised to be such a high pick in fantasy, yet not too many fantasy fans know a lot about him. Lynch isn’t someone who seeks out interviews, and in fact he shies away from them. That fact added to my stress level leading up to the interview because I didn’t know what to expect from Lynch. While watching the morning OTAs, I was chatting with Chris Brown, Bill Reporter extraordinaire, and the lead writer for Bills Digest and Brown gave me the skinny on Lynch, telling me how he may be a little hesitant to open up at first but if he warms up to and feels comfortable with me 5-10 minutes into the Q&A, he’ll be a great interview.

So as Lynch was walking off the practice field and toward me after being pointed in my direction by a Bill PR man, he had a stoic look on his face, and his guard was definitely up. So I tried to think of something to say to make a good first impression and put him as ease.

“Yo, Marshawn, what’s crack-a-lackin?” I quipped. I didn’t exactly plan on saying that, but came out, and that’s a risky opener for a 39-year old somewhat pasty white guy to roll with. After all, Lynch was born the year I graduated from High School, a fact that blows me away, so I risked coming across as lame, aging white guy unsuccessfully trying to be “hood.”

Luckily, the remark was a slam-dunk; Lynch was floored. I didn’t need five minutes for him to warm up to me; I was his boy in five seconds. First impressions really do mean a lot.  

With the introductions out of the way, and with a comfort level that could take another reporter months to develop achieved in seconds, my stress evaporated, and I knew it was going to be a great interview, perhaps my best.

And it was both.

End intro.

Here’s a shot of me and my boy Marshawn.hansen and lynch  













Category: Fantasy Football


13 Responses

  1. ditka85 says:

    “Yo, Marshawn, what’s crack-a-lackin?” I quipped.
    Oh no you di’int!

  2. jbeau says:

    What’s crack-a-lackin……hilarious…classic. That was a bang or bust opening. glad it worked out for ya.

  3. FFRich says:

    lol…“Yo, Marshawn, what’s crack-a-lackin?” I quipped… Lynch could have taken that a couple ways..he could have thought…What a fool… or…God pity that fool…fortunately for you, it seems he chose the latter!!

  4. crowbar718 says:

    John, youre lucky Lynch didnt “bang it up in there” and “bring it” to you. Glad to see you made it out of the interview in 1 piece, cant wait for the 08 mag.

  5. John Hansen says:

    Nah, no worries. Marshawn’s a really cool kid, as you’ll see in the article.

  6. tpwaller says:

    Okay contrarian, but Marshawn Lynch doesn’t draw my interest. Honestly, I won’t run out to buy a fantasy football magazine with Lynch on the cover.

    I’m glad he’s a cool kid. Hope he turns out better than Julius Jones, Kevin Jones and Tatum Bell. Few years ago, they were cover boys.

  7. John Hansen says:

    You forgot Lamont Jordan, he was also on that cover. The idea was to introduce people to 4 young backs, that’s not the idea here.

    Also, TP, so you know, I really liked Rick Mirer in 1996, and was wrong.

    I’m not surprise you’re not into Lynch; you really believe in, like what? 4 players in the NFL total?

  8. tpwaller says:

    yeah, 4 players. I won’t give you the pleasure of naming them.

    I just find it hard to get excited about a Buffalo Bills. Lee Evans bombed on me last year. The QB situation isn’t that good, but it won’t ease the 8 man fronts.

    I like AP and I have him on my keeper team. After watching young RB’s fall on their faces like Ronnie Brown, Kevin Jones, Cadillac, Julius Jones, Cedric Benson, Michael Bennett, Lawrence Maroney, Tatum Bell, I’m more cautious about young RBs until they prove something.

    Despite the bad press last season, it would have been better to go with proven players like Jamal Lewis and Willis McGahee. I did get some good advice on those players. Again, this year we’ll see which veteran everyone is down on outproduces all the young “studs” and I’m sure you’ll have it in your mag

  9. jbeau says:

    Lynch proved he was the real deal last year. Ronnie Brown doesn’t deserve to be bunched in with the guys you mentioned. I agree though, maybe next year you can put a savvy old veteran still getting it done. Just a thought.

  10. tpwaller says:

    Jbeau, Lynch had 1,100 yards and 7 TDs. It’s not bad. I’d consider him as a RB2 or low RB1. I’m still not sold on their QB situation and a QB has a big impact on an offense (ask NE or IND or CHI).

    Ronnie Brown could be good if he’d stay healthy. Every year, it’s some injury.

    In the 3 leagues I participated in last year, I noticed Jamal Lewis and Willis McGahee on a lot of the champs. They got no love before the drafts. I wonder if a Rudi Johnson or Deuce McAllister will make a good come back.

  11. zzanook says:

    TP do you watch any football / gamefilm, or do you just watch ESPN
    Lynch was an excellent choice for the cover, this young man is a stud
    if you had watched all of the games you would know this
    thank god for NFL shortcuts ( superfan package )
    lynch runs as hard as marion barber, tough kid very hard to bring down
    and once he starts catching some balls watch out

    anyway John great choice, you know talent when you see it
    you obviuosly watch gamefilm / shortcuts

  12. tpwaller says:

    zzanook, I watch my team Cowboys all season.

    If you’re asking if I sit around all day Sunday and Monday watching football, then no. I have a life.

    I’m glad you like the pick. I hope you spend a high pick on Lynch. Drop me Westbrook or SJax.

  13. tpwaller says:

    I’m a CPA so I like to look at numbers, because oftentimes numbers don’t lie.

    Marshawn Lynch (to be 1st round pick) had 1,115 rushing yards and 184 receiving yards with 7 TDs.

    Lendale White (who no one is talking about) had 1,110 rushing yards and 114 receiving yards with 7 TDs.

    Both have average QB’s, and VY could easily be argued as a better QB than Trent Edwards.

    Bills have Lee Evans, but he’s an inconsistent WR, and I know because I had him last year.

    I still think Lynch is a low RB1 or a RB2. If he puts up big numbers and 10 TD’s this year, then I’ll crown him. I just think it’s risky to overvalued 2nd year RB’s like Cadillac, Ronnie Brown, Kevin Jones, Julius Jones, William Green. A lot of those guys have come back and bitten Fantasy Football owners.

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