Marshawn Lynch, Trillionaire: Mangoprism 2014 Person of the Year

In this life we all yearn to be trill, in one way or another. Trill = true + real. Or is it truereal? Or realtrue?

The equation is in a constant state of flux. The two variables are never arranged the same way twice.

If you do not believe trillness to exist, well maybe you are right. You should stop reading now. But if you, like me, are a believer, you know that trillness is a rare and beautiful and sacred thing indeed.


When Marshawn Lynch steps onto the football field, he seems to activate a sixth gear that renders him an Ice Road Truckers combo truck experiencing brake failure with its driver asleep at the wheel. Linebackers play the Seattle Seahawks and suffer nightmares for days after. Always he comes for them, a football tucked under one arm and dreads flying in his wake, demented laughter reverberating in the empty black void of his visor. He is the boogie monster, he is the Babadook. He is Beast Mode.


Marshawn had an excellent season in 2014. He rushed for 1,306 yards and was elected to his 4th consecutive Pro Bowl. According to Football Outsiders he provided more value per play than any running back in the league.

More noteworthy than Marshawn’s on-field performance in 2014 were his off the field hijinks. He has always been known in the NFL as a funky dude who marches to the beat of his own drum. But the Seahawks’ historic thrashing of Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII in February vaulted Marshawn to new levels of fame and fortune. The twin spotlights of the sports media and social media shined on him brighter than ever, revealing much about his character and causing him to react to this new level scrutiny in unexpected ways.

What we learned about Marshawn Lynch in 2014 is this: Marshawn Lynch is candor incarnate. Caprice incarnate. Sprayable bullshit-repellent incarnate. He lives without pretense to the point that Marshawn the running back is nothing more than the pure, uncut athletic and artistic imprint of Marshawn the person. Beast Mode is not merely Marshawn when Marshawn activates his sixth gear — Beast Mode and Marshawn are one and the same.

In other words, 2014 was the year in which the complete and utter trillness of Marshawn Lynch made itself known. Super Bowl XLVIII was the catalyst his dormant trillness needed to erupt.

We live blind in a self-imposed fog and it can be hard to see and know that which is true and real. Trill transcends. Trill lifts the fog. Trill hits the target no one else sees. Marshawn is Picasso. Basquiat. Nic Cage.

Marshawn is Dave Bowman the Starchild and the rest of us are a bunch of cholos watching 2001 A Space Odyssey and eating chips. We cannot experience the Starchild’s trillness firsthand but, suddenly, we can conceive a way of life we didn’t previously know existed or could exist.


In 2014 Marshawn became the world’s first trillionaire, 1000x richer than any billionaire. His philanthropy is invaluable to our society whether he knows it or not. By keeping it trill, Marshawn is a great beacon of hope for humanity.

He is the lamp in the lighthouse. He shows the way. He waits just beyond the event horizon. Go to the light and discover the true meaning of freedom. The light is inside you. Go to the light.


10. Marshawn Procures Bottle of Fireball During Super Bowl Parade

The surest sign that Marshawn is an introvert is that he is always cloaking his face in every available accessory and article of clothing.

For the Seahawks Super Bowl parade he put together the snappy ensemble of a face warmer and a hoodie and a massive cigar tucked into his beanie. True to his Bay Area hyphy roots, he is riding on the hood of the duck boat, when all of the sudden – gasp! – he spots a fan five rows back holding a bottle of Fireball. His face warmer renders him mute but through sheer desperation he makes clear his message to the Seahawks faithful: I’m finna get fucked up.

9. Marshawn Leaps Into Pool of Slime

Marshawn was nominated for the Nickelodeon Kids Sports Choice Awards ‘Clutch Player of the Year’ and somehow lost to Carmelo Anthony. Which only tells us something we already knew: kids are idiots.

8. Marshawn Attends the ESPYs

The night before he willingly leapt into a pool of slime, Marshawn chose to remain in his seat rather than join his teammates on stage when the Seahawks won ESPY for Team of the Year, nicely mirroring his absence from the Seahawks’ post-Super Bowl visit to the White House in May.

7. Marshawn Loves his Lamborghini

Marshawn whipped out his trusty stanchions and velvet rope to cordon off his crispy white Lamborghini Aventador, which he parked on the street during a shoot for a biographical movie about his experience growing up in Oakland called ‘Family First’. Seriously can’t wait for that movie to come out.

Earlier in the year, Marshawn put on his most risqué sweatshirt and drove his Lambo to the local donut spot for a pregame meal before the Seahawks’ divisional playoff showdown against the Saints, in which he rushed for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns.

6. Marshawn Dances to Philthy Rich

After the Super Bowl, Marshawn puts ‘Ready 2 Ride (Livewire Remix)’ by Oakland rapper Philthy Rich on the locker room speaker system and proceeds to gig. A flock of media personnel quickly surrounds him with cameras as Philthy Rich affiliate Stevie Joe raps, “Middle finger to the crackers.”

Clearly, the Seahawks stadium music guy watched this video, which singlehandedly brought sagging back, and added ‘Ready 2 Ride’ to the 2014 playlist. Here Steven Hauschka is lucky/unlucky enough to be seated next to Marshawn when it comes on the loudspeaker during the Seahawks’ Week 10 game against the Giants.

5. Marshawn Goes To War With NFL Reporters

Marshawn’s dysfunctional relationship with NFL reporters came to a head when NFL fined him $100 grand for blowing off the media after the Seahawks Week 11 loss to the the Chiefs. Thus began a battle of wills that continues to rage in 2015. After the Seahawks Week 12 win over the Cardinals, Marshawn answered each reporter’s question with a simple, passive-aggressive “yeah.” In Week 16, it was “thank you for asking.”

“Football’s just always been hella fun to me, not expressing myself in the media. I don’t do it to get attention; I just do it cause I love that (expletive).”

Marshawn’s commitment to his principles is admirable but also makes him look like a bit of an asshat. He trolls reporters because they are an extension of the NFL apparatus, a.k.a. The Man. Reporters ostensibly serve as intermediaries that give fans access to the players. By subverting the good intentions of NFL reporters, Marshawn actually gives fans more access into the mind of Marshawn than reporters could ever hope to provide under normal circumstances. The model is broken — or rather, he is breaking the model.

Marshawn doesn’t hate all media. He sat down for featured interviews with ESPN’s Kenny Mayne and Jeffri Chadiha. He does naked photoshoots, he does plumbing ads, he let NFL Japan film him sampling Japanese candy, he let Vice film him going to the jewelry store to get fitted for a custom grill. He just doesn’t like it when people get in his face without his consent.

4.  Marshawn Returns Local Man’s Wallet

In November, Marshawn joined a Seahawks convoy to Marysville-Pilchuck High School to show support after a school shooting. Riding in a Mercedes van along with Seahawks WR Ricardo Lockette, Marshawn pulled into a gas station “playing music super loud” and found a wallet lying on the ground belonging to a man (who’s last name, coincidentally, was Lynch). Marshawn and Lockette drove to the address listed on the wallet’s ID and no one was home, so they knocked on a few doors and ended up giving it to his neighbor. The neighbor recognized Marshawn but he declined to give her his name, identifying himself simply as “the dude trying to get the dude back his wallet.” The dude abides.

3. Marshawn Retweets Hennessy

99% of Marshawn’s tweets are retweets of his fans and reputable brands such as Hennessy. He pretty much never tweets anything himself unless it involves Lil Boosie.

2. Marshawn Talks to Deion Sanders

Penciled in for a 60-minute session at Super Bowl media day, Marshawn gives reporters six minutes of his time and then dips.

But before Marshawn can make his escape from the Prudential Center, Deion Sanders corners him for a NFL Network exclusive interview. With Deion posting up on him like he would a busty sorority sister at the 40/40 Club, Marshawn delivers to the world his definitive life manifesto. He describes to Deion his preferred state of being: “Laid back, kicked back, minding my business.” His belief system is evident not only in what he says but in the way he says it. He does not want to be there, but he gives Deion two minutes because Deion was once a player in the NFL.

Marshawn once again shields himself from bad ju-ju by wearing a hood and sunglasses. Even his beard seems to serve as a sort of defensive mechanism. He must use words to explain that he is not a man of words. He tells Deion: “I’m just ‘bout that action, boss.” Ironically, his economical manner of speech makes him a man of words after all. He is cogent and lyrical, as if speaking in 2 Chainz hooks. Indeed, someone later remixed the interview into a song. SPOILER: it’s a banger.

1. Marshawn Unleashes BeastQuake II

In Week 16, Marshawn busted a 79-yard touchdown run against the Cardinals that was immediately hailed as the run of the year. For one play, Marshawn fully harnessed his otherworldly combination of strength and balance and wreaked havoc on the Cardinals defense, as if to prove that the original BeastQuake, his epic 67-yard touchdown run that sealed the Seahawks’ 2011 playoff win over the Saints, was no fluke.

On both occasions, Marshawn stamped an exclamation point on the end of the run by flying backward into the end zone with his hand on his junk, a departure from his standard TD celebration of gentlemanly shaking his teammates’ hands – the polar opposite of hand on the junk. Whether the hand on the junk indicated self-awareness or instinct, it flowed naturally from the run itself. It was audacious, it was bodacious, it was quintessential Marshawn Lynch, who lives his life the same way he runs the football. Get off me, child’s play.

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