As happens with all organically good things in life, Marshawn Lynch's signature catchphrase, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined,” is getting packaged and prepared for profit. In other words, it’s no longer a cool thing to say.
Marshawn Lynch’s legal team last week filed a trademark application in hopes of soon owning the NFL star’s signature Super Bowl XLIX phrase. Chris Bevans, the man who runs Lynch’s “Beast Mode” apparel line, told ESPN that the company is “just listening to the marketplace,” and the marketplace apparently wants a bunch of clothing with the phrase “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” on it.
That makes sense, and Lynch is right to grab all the money he can, of course, but it’s also sort of a shame when a small act of rebellion is monetized by way of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, no?
For those who need a refresher, Lynch, an unambiguously cool guy who cares deeply about his hometown of Oakland, used the phrase over and over again to avoid a $500,000 league fine during one of his many mandatory press conferences in the week leading up to the Super Bowl. Here’s a video for old times’ sake:
It seems worth noting that the NFL is also making money off the phrase by uploading this video to YouTube and throwing a pre-roll ad on it.
We shouldn’t be surprised Lynch has decided to trademark the once-cool phrase. After all, a lot of people predicted money was on his mind when he essentially protested Super Bowl Media Day in the first place.
Lynch has also trademarked many other of his signature phrases, including "About that action BOSS” and “Power Pellets,” which is how Lynch describes the Skittles he loves so much, as well as with a bunch of different “Beat Mode” trademarks.
And again, that’s all fine. Make that money. But you can’t have your trademark and keep it cool. “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” is about to make Lynch a lot of money, but it’s also now just that: a money-maker.