For both Marshawn Lynch and me, Seahawks football started in 2010–2011 season. Let’s start with Lynch. He was traded a month into the season to the Seahawks from the Bills and promptly scored his first touchdown in his first game for the Hawks (interestingly, this was in a win against the bears who ended up beating the Hawks in the divisional round later that season). Speaking of the playoffs, as many will remember, the Seahawks made the playoffs that year by winning the NFC West with a 7–9 record. The 2010–2011 playoffs are where my love for the Seahawks began.

My parents bought my brother and I tickets to the 2011 Wild Card matchup between the Seahawks (7–9) and the New Orleans Saints (11–5). It was the Seahawks, the team that no one thought deserved a playoff spot, against the defending champion Saints. Just some quick stats from that game, Brees threw for 404 yards with 2 TD’s and no picks, Hasselbeck threw for 272 yards with 4 TD’s and 1 pick, and Marshawn Lynch rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown, and what great touchdown that was.

That touchdown, is what sparked my interest in football. What made me the diehard hawks fan I am today. The play call, 17-power. The yard line, 33. The result? BeastQuake. 8 broken tackles, 67 yards, and from the play call to the execution, it’s simply what we came to love from Marshawn.

The play — 17 power — is a power run where, as a described by Marshawn, “You’re running straight downhill. [The defense] knows where you’re coming, and we know where [the defense] gonna be lined up at. Now you just gotta stop it”.

That’s the beauty of Marshawn Lynch’s play isn’t it? We never really ran a bunch of tricky run plays with him. Every defense knew he was going to get the ball. They knew where he was going to go. They were simply incapable of bringing him down.

I remember watching that run. I was in the upper deck on the Seahawks 20 yard line. I remember watching him go into the trenches, and thinking, “4 yards isn’t that bad”. I remember him exiting the trenches, still on his feet, and I was thinking something like, “wow that’s really impressive! We got the first!”. And then he kept going, and I thought it was a dream. I thought, no way does this guy score! There are too many players on the field! Every time someone tried to tackle him, I thought, “okay, that has to be it, there is absolutely no way he keeps going”. I was on my feet, contributing to the earthquake, screaming in awe and disbelief. It was my first moment of understanding the beauty of the game. It was the moment that made me fall in love with football, and the Seahawks. It was Marshawn Lynch.

Since then, Marshawn Lynch has been one of the best running backs in the league. He has had the most rushing touchdowns since 2010 for any running back in the league. He is also third in the NFL for both rush attempts and rush yards in that span. He is tied for third all-time with six postseason games rushing for 100 yards or more. He has led the Seahawks offense, head first, to becoming a powerful force behind the record-shattering defense. I don’t care how many press conferences he skipped, or how many times he said the words “I’m just here so I won’t get fined”, or how many practices he held out for. At the end of the day, the end of the year, the end of his career, he was a virtually unstoppable force…and he was a force for us.

So now, I wish BeastMode good luck as he retires and goes into the rest of his life. I thank him for the exciting games, electrifying plays, and deep playoff runs. I think its undeniable that without Lynch, Seattle would not have gotten our first Super Bowl win. I am elated that Lynch was able to get the ring he deserves before retirement. Finally, I am thankful that I was at that 2011 Wild Card game which resulted in my love for the sport and the Seahawks.

Thank you BeastMode.

(P.S. Here is the link to a video of Marshawn Lynch analyzing that historic run, definitely worth a watch!)