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Marshawn Lynch gave the same answer, "I'm just here so I won't get fined," in response to every question during his initial Super Bowl press conference. (He followed that up with a chorus of "You know why I'm here" the next day.) Now the Seattle Seahawks running back is trying to make sure no one else uses the phrase without his permission.
Lynch filed an application last week to trademark the phrase, in an effort to secure exclusive rights to use it on shirts, hats, and other athletic apparel. And if his past trademark endeavors are any indication, the infamous quote will soon be his, legally.
The Quote Heard 'Round the Super Bowl
To the extent that any relationship exists between Lynch and the media, it has long been a salty one. He has often refused to be interviewed, even when it cost him $100,000 in fines. In fact, the speculation heading into the Super Bowl media days was more focused not so much on whether the league would punish the Seahawks star for not cooperating, but on how much the punishment would be.
So it wasn't surprising to hear Lynch cooperate less than fully with reporters' questions, even if his persistence was unexpected. Over five minutes of open interview time, Lynch repeated "I'm just here so I won't get fined" 25 straight times and then left the press conference. The next day, he referenced that answer by repeating some variation of "You know why I'm here" for another five minutes before leaving.
Both sessions ruffled media feathers, but failed to warrant any punishment from the NFL.
The trademark would give Lynch, or more accurately his marketing and public relations team, the sole license to sell merchandise bearing the iconic phrase. The application requires the filer to assert a bona fide intent to use the mark, so don't expect Lynch and his team to sit on the trademarked phrase for long.
Lynch hasn't been shy about cultivating and protecting the fruits of his labor. He trademarked "Beast Mode" after his 2008 rookie season, and created a popular clothing line around his nickname. The same clothing line sells T-shirts bearing the phrase, "About That Action," a reference to another trademarked phrase from a 2014 Super Bowl interview: "I'm just about that action, boss."
Lynch is also about that merch money, boss -- a move that will likely serve him well after his rumored retirement.