The Sports Summery
By Summer Weinberg, For The Miami Student
Despite being a man of very few words, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch’s mid-Super Bowl tweet spoke volumes to NFL fans nation-wide.
With just a peace signing-hand emoticon as the caption to a photo of his famous lime green cleats hanging from a wire, sports fans knew the era of “Beast Mode” had most likely come to an end.
Lynch, only 29 years old, battled an abdomen injury for the better part of the 2015-2016 season, and rumors of his retirement began to swirl immediately after the Carolina Panthers eliminated the Seahawks from the playoffs.
In his 10-year career with the Buffalo Bills and Seahawks, Lynch accumulated 83 touchdowns, 502 points and 9,112 total rushing yards.
A few weeks prior, NFL fans also said goodbye to another legendary offensive player. Calvin “Megatron” Johnson is planning retirement in less of a cryptic fashion than Lynch, but is nonetheless breaking the hearts of many.
While he has not officially declared his professional football career over, the large majority of Johnson’s followers believe the end is imminent.
“Calvin Johnson told family 2015 would be his final year and delivered same message to Jim Caldwell after season ended, sources told ESPN,” a tweet from ESPN reporter Adam Schefter read.
Johnson, 30 years old, served his entire nine-season career with the Detroit Lions as a wide receiver. In that time, he racked up a whopping 11,619 receiving yards and 84 touchdowns.
Both Johnson and Lynch are in absolute contention for NFL Hall of Fame nominations within the next decade, and for good reason.
Johnson has six Pro Bowls under his belt, and Lynch has five. In 2012, Johnson set the NFL single-season record for most receiving yards (1,964 yards). Lynch has a Super Bowl ring and the titles for NFL rushing leader in 2013 and 2014. And that’s only naming a few of the records held by each of the offensive legends.
Compared to most NFL running backs and wide receivers who have come and gone, these two have made quite an impact. So much so, in fact, that you’re probably not an NFL fan if you don’t refer to them by their nicknames over their actual names.
“Beast Mode” and “Megatron” have not only been amazing on the field, but they’ve also made a name for themselves off of it. Lynch, known for his reluctance to speak, is viewed as hilarious for just that. On the other hand, Johnson is more of a family man, father figure and veteran to Lions fans nation-wide.
So, those sound like a couple of pairs of shoes that’ll be nearly impossible to fill, right? Right.
That’s why there is so much pressure on those already in the league and those to come.
Offensive rookies like Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper and St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley certainly came out with a bang in 2015 and 2016, but their fantastic seasons are only a drop in the bucket.
In countless interviews, both Cooper and Gurley conveyed their admiration for the two greats: “You never want to see the greats leave the game,” Cooper said in a New York Times article. “You feel like they’re going to be making plays forever. You want to be like them growing up, and you still want to see them make plays.”
Fall 2016 is guaranteed to be eagerly anticipated by NFL fans. The excitement from the rise of these two rookies and the sting of never again seeing “Beast Mode” and “Megatron” playing on the field makes this upcoming season a bittersweet one.