Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, just one year removed from his NFL retirement, is back to being his crazy, even chaotic self. And that’s not a bad thing.

Lynch now on the Raiders is having a great time. He’s living the good life as Kanye West would say.

This seemed abundantly clear on Sunday when he was dancing all around the Oakland sideline in the fourth quarter of a blowout win against the New York Jets.

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(Photo via AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The Oakland Coliseum was behind Lynch completely, roaring in agreement with the 31-year-old running back. He appeared as happy as a teenager that hears his favorite song on the radio and wants to just smile and dance.

What else could Lynch be happy about?

The Raiders are now 2-0 and look as dominant as ever after recording convincing wins over the Tennessee Titans and the Jets.

Lynch, hasn’t been a bystander but a catalyst to the aforementioned success. He’s had 121 yards on the ground on 30 attempts with one touchdown.

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(Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

He hasn’t been all-worldly but the Oakland native is averaging over 4 yards per carry and his energy has seemed infectious to the team. A major reason why the diehard fans were making the stadium so loud on Sunday.

In Week 1, Lynch flipped off the Titans on the field. The one thing he has publicly admitted he is trying to avoid occurred.

“I’m just here so I don’t get fined,” Lynch famously said during the Super Bowl media day in 2015.

Lynch was fined $12,000 ($6,000 for each finger) but that didn’t seem to impact his attitude against New York.

Lynch has strong ties to the Bay Area as he attended Oakland Technical High School and proceeded to wear the Blue and Gold playing in the city right next to his birthplace at the University of California, Berkeley.

After moving on from Cal, the Buffalo Bills drafted the Oakland native. He then moved on to the Seattle Seahawks after three seasons in Buffalo. After the move, he finally became the elite running back he was projected to become.

The former Cal Bear rushed for over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in four consecutive seasons from 2011-2014, capped off by a championship victory in Super Bowl XLVIII.

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(Photo: AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

After stepping away from the game after the 2015 season, Lynch decided he wanted to lace up his cleats one more time, but this time he wanted to do it in his hometown.

He requested a trade from Seattle and eventually got his way. The Seahawks got the Raiders’ 2018 fifth-round pick for Lynch and a sixth-round pick in 2018.

With the franchise set to move from its roots in Oakland to Las Vegas, Lynch embracing the great Oakland culture seems perfectly timed.

Will Lynch have an all-pro year?

Probably not. But that’s not the point. Lynch is exciting Oakland and the Raider Nation and is someone for kids to recognize and look up to. The Bay Area youth can see the way he takes on the persona that is Oakland in a positive and happy light.

In a time when the Golden State Warriors are leaving the East Bay, the Oakland Athletics are relocating to a different part of the city and the Raiders will soon be leaving for Vegas, saying Oakland lacks stability is a complete understatement.

Lynch is more than just football. He is a special role model and represents hope and excitement for not only the city of Oakland but the entire Bay Area.


Rob Werner is a contributing writer for The JR Report. For more news follow him on twitter @robwerner28.

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I'm an aspiring sports journalist with experience interviewing and reporting on collegiate and professional athletes since 2014. I study at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and am majoring in sports journalism.
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