One year ago today, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch announced his retirement with a single, wordless tweet on Super Bowl Sunday. It was a fitting way to go out for a player who said little to the media off the field but whose actions spoke very loudly between the lines.
In six seasons with the Seahawks, Lynch was not just one of the league's best running backs, he also became an iconic figure in Seattle as he played a big role in the Seahawks winning the first Super Bowl in franchise history. He was, as Seahawks coach Pete Carroll put in in 2012, "the key element to putting this thing together, from the attitude perspective at least."
But while Lynch has been retired for a year, he has not settled down into a routine post-football life. Instead he has spent his first year of retirement being, well, Marshawn Lynch. So just for fun, let's take a look back at some of the memorable moments of Lynch's past year since he hung up his cleats, literally, one year ago.
"We Ghost Riding the Camel Right Now, You Feel Me?"
Less than a month after announcing his retirement, Lynch was traveling, but not on a typical vacation to celebrate his career. Instead, Lynch was in Egypt with American Football Without Barriers, an organization working to globalize the game. Lynch also traveled with AFWB to Turkey the previous offseason. And yes, Lynch managed to have some fun on that trip, even "ghost riding the camel," as he put it.
While he was playing in Seattle, one of the first things Lynch's teammates would always point out about him was that he was as generous of a teammate as they had ever known. So when Cliff Avril planned an offseason humanitarian trip to Haiti, it came as little surprise that Lynch jumped at the chance to join. It was actually Lynch who put Avril in touch with Free the Children, now WE Charity.
"He put me in contact with them and he told me if I was serious he would definitely support," Avril said of Lynch's involvement. "He's been all-in ever since we made that connection."
While in Haiti, Avril, Lynch and NFL players Stephen Tulloch and Godser Cherilus helped rebuild an elementary school, hosted a mobile medical clinic and also a football camp.
Lynch was so on board, in fact, that he returned to Haiti with Avril's wife, Danita, in September to help open the school.
In a highly anticipated interview with 60 Minutes, Lynch provided a glimpse into his mind and sat down with Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim. He talked about how his uncle injected the Beast Mode mentality, his relationship with his hometown of Oakland and made it clear he is done playing football for good.
"I'm retired," Lynch said in the interview. "Is that good enough? Which camera do you want me to look in to? I'm done. I'm not playing football anymore. Thank you."
Lynch Test-Drives Cars
There's no doubt Lynch is a big fan of motor vehicles. Last June, the retired running back spent a day with Tim Walbridge of 503 Motoring testing cars.
The 10th Annual Fam 1st Family Youth Football Camp
Of all the things Lynch is passionate about, few things, if any, mean more to him than his home town of Oakland. In July, for the 10th straight year, his Fam 1st Family Foundation hosted a free youth football camp. Lynch is a very hands-on participant in his camp, both helping teach football but also providing life lessons to participants.
As San Francisco Police Department officer Yossef Azim said at Lynch’s camp in 2015, "Marshawn is really reaching a group and affecting them in a way no one else could. There's no book on this. What he's doing is beyond belief."
Lynch Suits Up Down Under
While Lynch was done playing professional football last summer, that didn't stop him from putting on the pads for an August practice. With the University of California opening its season in Sydney, Australia, Lynch paid his college team a visit. But rather than just visit a practice and maybe say a few words to the team, Lynch actually suited up and participated in a workout.
"He's been really great with our players and has interacted with their families," Cal coach Sonny Dykes told ESPN. "He loves young people and trying to have an impact on them. He does a lot of things that people don't know about behind the scenes. We're lucky to have him around."
Lynch Welcomes Former Teammates To Oakland
When the Seahawks played the Raiders in the preseason, the team stayed only blocks away from Lynch's Beast Mode store in downtown Oakland. Not surprisingly, players, coaches and staff flocked to his store the day before the game, where the man himself greeted customers, posed for pictures and even handed out free socks to people on their way out of the store. Lynch also visited the team the night before the game at their hotel, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.
"He popped in last night and stopped by," Carroll said. "The guys had fun seeing him. The fact that his store's right around the corner from the hotel was great. It's a very classy place and a bunch of guys went by."
Later in the fall, Lynch opened a Beast Mode store in Seattle as well.
Beast Mode vs Wild
Venturing through the Corsican Mountains in France, Lynch appeared on NBC’s Running Wild with Bear Grylls to test his survival skills. As Lynch and the British adventurer Grylls made their way across in two days, they performed the essentials like hunting down a hog and starting a fire (to cook it) with one of Lynch's dreadlocks. It was one of the most comical events he's done post-football.
Lynch Re-Enacts Cart Ride
In November, California held a bobblehead night for Lynch at Memorial Stadium to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of his injury-cart joyride that took place when Cal defeated the Washington Huskies in OT and created one of the most memorable moments in college football history. Accompanied by his mother, Delisa, Lynch rode one of the team's carts onto the field before the game to honor the moment.
The Seahawks dominated their Sunday Night Football matchup against the Carolina Panthers, and it only got better when Lynch made a shocking appearance on the sideline in front of 12s at the end of the third quarter.
Hitting the television screen for the winter finale of FOX's Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Lynch played himself as a witness to a group of convicts escaping a prison van in the American police sitcom. It created a funny interview with police about the incident considering Lynch wasn't the most talkative player in the locker room during his playing days. He starred in the episode alongside Terry Crews and Andy Samberg.
In an appearance on Discovery's show, Diesel Brothers, Lynch pulled off another joyride, except this time it was with a tricked out dune buggy. First, the crew ghost rides the truck — which means letting the car drive while you sit or stand on top of it — before asking Lynch what he wants to do next, in which he then says "drive over that Jeep." Soon enough, Lynch tries to crush a wrecked Jeep Grand Cherokee and ends up doing donuts on top of the car while on set. It's more amazing than it seems when you watch it for yourself.
Beast Mode Goes Bike Mode In Scotland
Did you know there was a village in Scotland called Houston? Well Skittles did, and they sent Lynch to that version of Houston ahead of this year's Super Bowl in Houston, Texas, and as expected, good times ensued. While there, Lynch rode around on a bike handing out Skittles, he wielded a sword, played bagpipes and learned some local phrases such as "ridiculous o'clock."
Lynch Appears On Clueless Gamer (Again)
For the third consecutive Super Bowl week, Lynch appeared on Conan O’Brien’s “Clueless Gamer” segment. This year before Super Bowl LI, the showdown featured the game "For Honor," an action video game from Ubisoft. Atlanta's Dwight Freeney and New England's Tom Brady were the main players in this year's showdown, but Lynch and Rob Gronkowski —who he originally faced on the segment in 2015 — make an appearance in the clip.
It has only been one year, but it's safe to say Marshawn Lynch is doing retirement right.
On October 5, 2010, the Seahawks acquired Marshawn Lynch and in his nine years in the NFL Lynch has made some truly spectacular plays, rightfully earning the nickname Beast Mode.