By Nathan Krohn
MarshawnLynch got the ball and was hit immediately. Lost in a standing pile of gigantic men the Thursday Night Football announcers on the NFL Network prematurely called the play “a gain of nothing.” Lynch then emerged from the pile broke another tackle, juked right and walked into the end zone. When he returned to the bench a trainer greeted him with a handful of Skittles that Lynch gobbled down.
The sideline Skittles ritual began at a young age when Lynch’s mother would reward him with a bag of Skittles every time he did something good. Now, every time Lynch does something good on the football field he reaches for the Skittles.
After the whole country witnessed Lynch perform his unusual ritual, Skittles have been all the rage.
Mars, the owners of the Skittles brand offered Lynch a two-year supply of the candy, as well as a custom dispenser for his locker.
During the final two home games of the season, every time Lynch crossed the goal line fans showered him with Skittles in the end zone.
In the Seahawks home finale against the 49ers, Lynch was seen wearing a custom cleat designed by Nike with Skittles on the side. The shoe proved helpful for Lynch as he scored the only rushing touchdown against the 49ers all season.
Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL league offices did not find the shoes as amusing and fined the running back $10,000 for a uniform violation. It was noted that the fine was so high because it was his second violation of the season. The first came one-week prior when he wore green socks, one of the Seahawks colors, during the Monday Night Football game against the Rams.
The fine was especially frustrating for Seahawks fans because starting Left Tackle Russell Okung was injured by Eagles player Trent Cole on a late hit during that same Thursday night game when the Skittles phenomenon began. Okung’s pectoral muscle was torn in effect ending his season and Cole was fined $7,500 for his infraction.
Many wonder how a vicious late hit that ends a players season warrants a fine lesser than that received for Skittles shoes.
The NFL has been preaching player safety for nearly two seasons, and has done a lot to make the game safer for players but the league office loses credibility with head scratching fines like these.
The league argues that sponsors of the NFL pay big money to have their names on equipment and seen during games. This is their justification for such a large fine when a player violates the uniform policy.
While that may sound ridiculous to some, no one finds it more frustrating than Russell Okung as he sits rehabilitating his right pectoral.