Some athletes are willing to partake in untraditional means to gain a competitive advantage on the field, notwithstanding is former NFL star running back Marshawn Lynch, also referred to as "Beast Mode."
In the second season premiere of the ESPN+ series Peyton’s Places, the former league-leading rusher revealed that his renowned Beast Mode alter ego was fueled by the popular cognac-based drink, Hennessy.
“My superstition was that I needed to have a shot, maybe a shot and a half before every game,” he admitted to host Peyton Manning, a former NFL star quarterback.
Marshawn's pregame superstition involved a shot of what?! ????
— ESPN (@espn) November 29, 2020
Manning, looking for clarity on Lynch's admission, asked him what he was taking shots of.
"Hennessy,” Lynch responded. “What do you mean 'of?’”
“I was thinking Gatorade,” the former Indianapolis Colts franchise player said.
As to where Lynch was able to land booze on game days, his stash was never too far away from him on game days. The former running back said his alcoholic beverages were covert but simple.
“The bar’s in my backpack,” Lynch said.
Superstitious practices are as commonplace in sports as workout routines and conditioning regimens. Some basketball athletes wear additional clothing underneath their game day jerseys, some baseball players will go without a haircut for months in pursuit of playoff greatness and a number of boxers commit to celibacy in the weeks leading up to a big fight.
Lynch’s game day superstition may have aided in his superhuman run against the New Orleans Saints in the 2010 playoffs where he had 19 carries, 131 yards and a rushing touchdown, according to ESPN.
The feat of seemingly impossible human strength, which helped him earn his nickname, might actually prove that “Hennything is possible.”
In addition to his admission of entertaining superstitions, Lynch has become known for dropping gems off the field. He notoriously deflected a question during a post-game interview and shared with younger Black NFL players they should start taking care of their “chicken,” or in other words, protecting their financial interests, as Blavity previously reported.
Lynch said he's learned a lot in his years in the league and “now, I done been on the other side of retirement and it’s good when you can get over there and you can do what the f**k you want to.”
On the field, Lynch earned his moniker as an absolute terror against opposing defenses. In 12 years in the NFL, he led the league in rushing yards twice, was named to five Pro Bowls and was the focal point of the Seahawks’ offense in the 2014 Super Bowl run, according to Pro Football Reference.
“I’m going to give out turkeys back in the hood.”
Beast Mode is so real
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) November 26, 2020
Now, Lynch is cashing in on his brand by filming commercials and participating in social media promos while continuing to give back his time and money to the less fortunate.
Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, Lynch was in Honolulu, Hawaii, handing out turkeys to families in cars in a socially-distanced event. According to Sporting News, Lynch handed out 200 turkeys via his Fam 1st Family Foundation during the trip.