OAKLAND, Calif. -- Just because it was Marshawn Lynch's homecoming did not mean he wasn’t going to share it with everyone else.
Far from it.
When it came time for the Oakland Raiders' starting running back to be introduced to the adoring throng, Lynch could have absorbed it all by himself. He could have walked slowly and deliberately without his helmet on, done a pirouette while pounding his chest and made it all about himself.
“Them my [brothers],” Lynch said after the game.
“That’s just a testament to who he is as a man,” Washington said. “Since Day 1, he came in and told us he was going to lay it on us heavy, man, and he knows that we got his back through whatever.
“His hometown, to bring us out with him to feel that energy? That was a good deal. ... He literally got the town on his back. It’s crazy how one man can influence the whole organization, the whole town.”
When there was a lull in the game during a TV timeout early in the fourth quarter, Lynch threw a dance party for 54,729 of his closest friends at the Oakland Coliseum, with Lynch getting “hyphy” by the Raiders bench as Vell and DJ Mustard’s “(I’m from) Oakland” filled the air.
— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) September 17, 2017
And it was Oakland on the right end of a 45-20 victory in the Raiders’ home opener, which was the Oakland native’s first regular-season game as a member of his favorite childhood team.
“Did you see the crowd?” Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack asked. “That’s the kind of moment that you want as a football fan. Especially a guy that’s from your town, dancing like that on the sideline, like y’all dance? That’s a cool moment for them.
“But for us, it’s cool, too, seeing him enjoy himself and seeing the city of Oakland really, really enjoying this win.”
Bruce Irvin played with Lynch with the Seattle Seahawks, and even he was taken aback by Lynch’s, um, performance.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen him dance like that,” Irvin said. “He didn’t dance like that in Seattle. I guess because he’s at home, it’s the moment. I’m glad to see him having fun. It was a cool moment.”
The yin to Lynch’s yang on the Raiders' offense, quarterback Derek Carr, was quick to say that Lynch was not rubbing anything in anyone’s face.
“That’s just him,” Carr said of Lynch. “Coach [Jack] Del Rio tells us to express ourselves. Marshawn is not shy to do that. We love it. It’s not the fact that he’s dancing, he’s just him. You can see the comfort level with each man on this team.
“Seeing him being able to express himself and be comfortable with who he is, that’s awesome.”
You could say the same thing about Lynch’s touchdown run late in the second quarter, which was his first score since Nov. 15, 2015.
Earlier in the game, when the Raiders had a first-and-goal at the 2-yard line, Carr audibled into a play with the call “Seattle.” It was a pass. And if you cannot find the irony there, read a book on Super Bowl XLIX.
Carr hit Michael Crabtree for the score, and Lynch pumped his fist coming off the field.
When Oakland faced first-and-goal from the 4-yard line with 1:50 until halftime, the goal was to get Lynch his score. He was stopped for no gain on his first carry before getting 2 yards on his second. Then, out of the shotgun, Lynch took an inside handoff from Carr and found the end zone.
“It felt good,” Lynch said, in an understatement.
Lynch had 45 yards rushing on 12 carries and also had one catch for 4 yards. He was awarded the game ball by Del Rio. And Lynch promised to share that, too.
“Give it to my momma,” he said when asked what he would do with the keepsake.
Asked if he had seen her yet, after the game, Lynch did not blink.
“It’s after the game now. I’m seeing y’all,” he said. “I would like to be seeing my momma right now, but I gotta see y’all.”
Thus ended Lynch’s homecoming dance party.