FREE "Back to School" Clothing and Accessories

FREE “Back to School” Clothing and Accessories
We are offering FREE “Back to School” clothing and accessories listed below while they last! We have remaining some new and gently used fashionable clothing available for mainly Middle School to College students and some Big & Tall! We have the latest style clothing and accessories of ALL types: footwear; eyewear; sports gear; weight training equipment and accessories; swimwear and swim equipment and accessories; electronics; toiletries; health and beauty products, equipment and accessories; hair care products, equipment and accessories; and much more! Just complete the request form below for consideration!
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“Hand of Dignity” Programgi
A & MWF provides a wide range of educational opportunities and employment preparation services for our clients including scholarship and admissions programs, referrals for job training, career development support, resume workshops, job search assistance, interview skills training and preparation.
A & MWF, a volunteer-based organization, extends the “Hand of Dignity” to those less fortunate- men, women, and children, and provides them with the basic human necessity of quality, proper clothing, shoes, and accessories with an emphasis on low-income residents successfully obtaining an education or seeking employment to successfully transitioning into the workforce.
Our goal in the “Hand of Dignity” Program is to help low-income residents in Bay Area Counties improve their self-image and self-esteem by providing them with quality school or business apparel appropriate for attending school, job interviews and the professional workplace so they can obtain and education, secure employment and become economically self-sufficient. Many of the women in need of these services have nothing but the clothes on their back because they are escaping from abusive situations.
“Hand of Dignity” accepts new and gently used baby, children, teen youth, men’s and women’s clothing in excellent condition. We do not accept items in bad condition and they must not be noticeably worn, stained, torn, or imperfect. We are very selective as to what we will accept and ask/require that all donations to be in excellent condition, cleaned, pressed and on hangers.
We refresh the baby, children, teen youth clothing and give them new life with someone in need.
“Hand of Dignity” rescue, restore, and re-purpose the men’s and women’s business attire and accessories (suits, shirts, blouses, dresses, skirts, ties, scarfs, shoes, accessories, etc.) and provide them to individuals and programs which support people in transition or on welfare get jobs in the business world. Those “Qualified” clients in need can call to arrange a fitting of business attire and visit our ”showroom”, meet with a volunteer wardrobe advisor who helps select appropriate outfits for interviews and work for their new job.
Are there any clothes in your closet that you no longer wear? Put them to use by donating them to A & MWF. The less fortunate are always in need of stylish, fresh, clean clothes. We would like to encourage you all to take the opportunity to do a little “closet purging” — and gather all those things that, quite honestly, will NEVER fit your body again.
Among the things that will find a new home with someone in need are some of your very nice, “classic” style, men’s and women’s suits, shirts, blouses, dresses, skirts, ties, scarfs, shoes, accessories, children and babies clothing, etc.
AMWF specializes in some new, but mostly gently used clothing and accessories in designer apparel sold in the nation’s leading upscale department stores and retailers and provide First Quality designer apparel, footwear, and accessories. We operate and maintain an inventory so we can offer our patrons diverse selection at all times. This is what separates us from the majority of non-profit distributors. We also handle electronics, sporting goods, toiletries, general merchandise, and more. We offer great styles in urban wear clothing, hip hop and designer apparel names like Armani, Ralph Lauren Corporation, sports-clothing-brand-logosHugo Boss, Lacoste, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Burberry, Nike, Adidas, Tommy Hilfiger, Diesel, J. Crew, American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, Puma, Lee,Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Dior, Versace, Banana Republic, Timberland, Vans, Gap, Reebok, New Balance, Zara, Levi Strauss, DKNY, Quicksilver, Kenneth Cole, Hollister, H&M, Izod, Clarks, Perry Ellis, Superdry, Champion, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Givenchy, Aeropostale, Under Armour, Lululemon, Chanel, Forever 21, Ralph Lauren,Van’s, Converse, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Jordan, Target, Lilly Pulitzer, Eileen Fisher, Tory Burch, Justice, Diesel, True Religion, Ed Hardy, Haggar, Apple, Urban Outfitters, Ray Ban, Old Navy, Wet Seal, Quiksilver, Hurley, Billabong, Penguin, BCBG, Ann Taylor, Arizona, Baby Phat, Bebe, Billabong, Buffalo, Express, Expressions, Girbaud, Guess, Gymboree, Healthtex, Heritage, Hurley, John Deere, Lands End, Le Tigre, League, Lucky Brand, Mossimo, Next Concept, NY & Co., Choppers, Penguin, Munsingwear, Private Label, Rampage, Redsand, Roxy, Sean John, Timberland, Tommy Bahama, True People, Turbulance, U.S. Expedition, US Polo Association, Victoria Secret, Von Dutch, William Rast, Ecko, Eddie Bauer, Akademiks, Energie, Fila, Fubu, Gap, North Face, Phat Farm, Rocawear, Avirex, Ocean Pacific, Hanes, Jerzees, Gildan, Sport-Tek, Dockers, Ecko, Eddie Bauer, Enyce, Esprit, Faded Glory, Harley Davidson, Nautica, Umbro, Varcity VeeTee, Vokal, Zoo York, Clarks, Alfani, Disney, Hello Kitty, Sesame Street, Gymboree, Jockey, Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, Bike, Bali, Chantelle, Glamorise, Olga, Playtex, Spanx, Wacoal, K-Swiss, Asics, Saucony, Brooks, Mizuno, New Socks, Altamont, American Needle, Beats by Dre, Been Trill, Black Scale, Brixton, Crooks & Castles, DGK, Dickies, Funderwear, Hall of Fame, ICNY, LRG, Maui & Sons, Mishka, Neff, New Balance, O’Neill, Oakley, Pacsun, Rainbow, Ray-Ban, Reef, Riot Society, Vanguard, Volcom, Young & Reckless, Beauty & the Beach, Body Glove, Brixton, Bullhead Denim Co., Diamond Supply Co., Dolce Vita, Erin Wasson, Glamorous, Insight, JanSport, Kirra, Pink, Body-Solid, Fitness Gear, Valor Fitness, Rage, Easton, Everlast, FootJoy, Franklin, JanSport, Jockey, Ecco, E-Force, Ektelon, Marmot, Maui Jim, Maxfli, McDavid, Oakley, O’Brien, Ocean Minded, O’Neill, Rawlings, Riddell, Spalding, Speedo, Wilson, Wolverine, Worth, and others.hp-sba-activeRecreation-beginToSwim-dt
We are FIRM believers in HEALTH and seek to amplify the workout of our patrons with the BEST weight-training equipment from popular brands, including Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, Body-Solid, Fitness Gear, Valor Fitness, Rage, Reebok, and many, many more! We have weight training gear with gym and strength-training staples—all sports training equipment, weights, bars, pads, straps, braces, handles, ropes, specialized training equipment and accessories, mats, kettlebell, medicine balls, hand and body weights, swimming, Yoga, running, cross-fit, UFC, etc.
We seek to aid the patrons efforts to strengthen, tone and improve your overall health—and weight training is essential to your active lifestyle and it’s simple to integrate weight-training into your workout.
Whether you’re a skilled lifter or just starting your strength-training regimen, we may have the gear you need to make your fitness goals a reality. Our collection of Sporting equipment features weight-training equipment, weightlifting equipment and fitness accessories including:
1204-shoesWeight Lifting Accessories, Strength Brands, Weight Lifting Attachments, Weight Lifting Belts, Weight Lifting Gloves & Straps, Functional Fitness Training Equipment, Ankle, Hand, Wrist & Body Weights, Ab & Core Training Equipment, Suspension Training, Therapy Rehab Equipment, Jump Ropes, Yoga Mats, Strength Bands, Sports Accessories, Towels, Glasses, Locks, Skirts, Women’s Blouses/Tops, Dresses, Women’s Suits, Slacks, Jeans, Dress Shirts, Men’s Suits, Eye Glasses, Sun Glasses, Ankle Braces, Back Braces, Ankle Boots, Cell Phones, iPods, Jewelry, Flat Irons, Waist Bands, Sports Balls, Ankle Weights, Ace Bandage wraps, Caps, Hats, Beanies, Scarfs; Women’s Dress, Compression Shorts, Socks, Underwear, Hoodies, Sweatshirts, Watches, Books, Sports Bags, Shirts, T-Shirts, Leggings, Yoga Pants, Sweaters, Shorts, Swimwear and Equipment, Goggles, Floaters, Footwear, Sandals, Activewear, Outerwear, Jackets, Coats, Vests, Sports Gear, Water Bottles, Head Gear, Toiletries, Beauty Products, Hair Care, Combs, Razors, Shave Kits, Strength Bands, Body Sweat Wraps, and other health inspired products.
Apparel donations can be dropped off in the Bay Area or a convenient and easy pick-up can be arranged. For complete information, call us at 510 394-4101.
Other Services for Old or Unused Clothing
Loved Twice: Clothes for Underprivileged Newborns
After one of the worst natural disasters struck the United States, Lisa Klein put two and two together and created a clothing resource for underprivileged newborns.
LovedTwice.org
Oakland, California
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ASSETS Senior Employment Opportunities:
Gives women 55 and older the training and resources to re-enter the job market or expand existing skills. For more information about ASSETS please call Brendalynn Goodall at 510 238-6137.
The Oakland Welfare-to-Work Program:
Assists families in getting off of welfare and into the job market. For more information about Oakland’s Welfare-to-Work programs contact Edna Davis at 510 239-3646.
You can take donated items to:
Dalziel Building (at the corner of 14th and Broadway in Oakland)
150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 4th floor, Oakland, CA.
A Safe Place
https://www.asafeplacedvs.org/index.html
Dress for Success
www.dressforsuccess.org
Wardrobe for Opportunity
Wardrobe for Opportunity serves women accepts donations of women’s business attire and has lots of drop-off options at the following drop-off locations. They ask that you bring them clean and on hangers. Broadway Plaza Concierge Desk (outside next to Yogurt Park) in Walnut Creek. 10am-5pm Seven days. J. Malnick, 3751 East 14th Street, Oakland. Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm. Union Bank of CA, 617 San Ramon Valley Blvd. in Danville. Monday-Wednesday 8-8, Thuresday &.Friday 9-5. Cal Fed Bank, 3614 Mt. Diablo Blvd. Lafayette. Monday-Friday 10-5, Saturday 10-1
570 14th St., Suite 4
Oakland, CA 94612
510-463-4100
https://www.wardrobe.org
BOSS (Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficency)
510-649-1930.
BOSS is starting a Men’s program soon to serve both men and women and accepts donations of business clothing and has drop-off options.
Elizabeth House Women’s Shelter in Oakland and San Leandro
Women’s Refuge

Marshawn Lynch's Fam 1st Family Foundation Football Camp July 9-11, 2015

Marshawn Lynch’s Fam 1st Family Foundation Football Camp July 9-11, 2015
The man, the myth, the BEAST. Fanlime spent the weekend with Superbowl Champion and Seattle Seahawk’s all star running back Marshawn Lynch (aka BEASTMODE) to talk about his Oakland roots, the Fam 1st Family Foundation he founded with cousin Josh Johnson and his exclusive BeastMode collaborations with sports street wear brand Hall of Fame, the cutting edge performance brand ICNY, and the legendary Bay Area Hip-Hop crew, Hieroglyphics.
Fam 1st Family Foundation Football Camp
Talent show
July 9 @ 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Thursday, July 9, 2015. Talent show
Held at Oakland Tech High School Auditorium
4351 Broadway Oakland, CA
5pm-9pm Admission $5 (4 under free)
Family Bowl Night (Albany Bowl)
July 10 @ 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Friday, July 10, 2015
Family Bowl Night (Albany Bowl)
540 San Pablo Ave Albany, Ca
5pm -9pm
Presale Admission $20
Door Admission $30
Purchase tickets
https://event.sparxo.com/ticket/FamilyBowlNight2015
Annual Football Camp
July 11
Saturday July 11,2015
Annual Football Camp
Oakland Tech
4351 Broadway Oakland, Ca
Admission Free
Pre-Registration Online
Check in at 8am-9am (ages 6-12)
Check in at 12-1pm (ages13-18)
After Party
July 11 @ 10:00 pm – July 12 @ 2:00 am
After Party
July 11th
10pm -2pm
Location: TBA
$20 Admission
Fam 1st Family Foundation Talent Show
MARSHAWN LYNCH
Aside from his profession as a running back for the Seattle Seahawks, Marshawn Lynch is, in most ways, a typical American. Like anyone else, the lineaments of his success are consistent with the status symbols of his childhood and hometown. Like many good kids, he was a dreamer who wanted to grow up to help his family. Like many good men, his true heart is not for public view, and like many famous people, he’s wary of your motives.
A combination of these attributes earned Marshawn a $100,000 fine from the NFL last November for not interacting with the media. While not required by the Seattle Seahawks—Pete Carroll certainly doesn’t care if Marshawn talks to the press or not—the NFL, as part of its assiduous image maintenance, demands that its marquee players routinely supply the media with content. You don’t have to watch football to guess that most of this patter is the verbal equivalent of a store-bought Halloween costume, and because variations from this banal pattern often receive undeserved, rabid scrutiny, an enforced vapidity has long been the norm among athletes and their image managers. One should not critique Marshawn for wanting no part of this.
“He cares a lot more about his teammates than people think. He cares a lot more about this game than people think,” former Seahawk fullback Michael Robinson tells the Seattle Times. “He’s just not a guy that’s going to do it for the camera. That’s how he is.”
While he’s willing to perform when he calls the shots (as with his recent endorsement dealwith Skittles, his favorite candy going back to childhood) his scant press interviews usually range from curt to succinct. NFL Network reporter Deion Sanders happened into what qualifies asMarshawn Lynch (Kurt Rogers, San Francisco Chronicle)Marshawn’s mission statement when Marshawn told him, “I’m all about that action, boss … I ain’t never seen no talking that ever mean nothing. Been like that since I was little. I was raised like that.”
Marshawn’s “action” also happens to speak volumes. Nicknamed “Beast Mode” since his teenage years, Marshawn has an unusual talent for breaking tackles and finding an extra gear, perhaps best exemplified by this astonishing runagainst the New Orleans Saints a few years back. Seahawks fans love the guy; they’ve made his jersey one of the top-selling in football and caused Seattle-wide Skittles shortages in the lead-up to last year’s Super Bowl. These exploits make him worthy of the attention—if he wanted it.
Perhaps in retaliation, the media hasn’t downplayed Marshawn’s indiscretions and scrapes with the law, which mostly happened while he was a young player on his first team, the Buffalo Bills. He’s endured a hit-and-run charge he incurred while rolling through Buffalo’s bar district, a misdemeanor weapons charge, a DUI, and a citation for playing loud music—while in the Bills’ stadium parking lot.
“I would like to see them (critics) grow up in project housing authorities, being racially profiled growing up, sometimes not even having nothing to eat, sometimes having to wear the same damn clothes to school for a whole week,” Marshawn told Jeffri Chadiha, in a rare interview for ESPN E:60. “Then all of a sudden a big-ass change in their life, like their dream come true, to the point they’re starting their career, at 20 years old, when they still don’t know shit. I would like to see some of the mistakes they would make.”
Characteristically, Marshawn will not often talk about his difficult upbringing in a dangerous Oakland neighborhood. Marshawn’s mom, Delisa Lynch, a single parent working two jobs, struggled to support Marshawn and his siblings, and couldn’t often be around to keep them out of trouble or be there when someone let them down. Also, she permitted, but did not encourage, Marshawn’s relationship with his biological father, Maurice Sapp. “He chose a different lifestyle than what I wanted,” she says. “And let’s leave it at that.”
Marshawn badly wanted to spend time with his dad, however, and Maurice was around until Marshawn was eleven, doing things like taking him to church, but then got in trouble with the law and became increasingly remote.
In his E:60 interview, Marshawn told Chadiha about a time he went to his dad’s place only to have his father abandon him. “Moms would be like, I’m going to take you over here, to your dad’s house,” Marshawn says. “And when I get there, my dad’s like, OK, I’ll be right back, and then you don’t see this guy for like two days or something. And then after a while you build up numb feelings to that. You start to expect the worst from people.”
“The biggest letdown was his father,” his high school coach, Delton Edwards, told the New York Daily News. “That was the biggest letdown of all time. He wanted to build a relationship with his father, and it was there at times. But it never materialized.”
Marshawn also attributes some of his reticence to the tough neighborhood where he was raised. “Being from Oakland, you see a lot of things,” Lynch told ESPN this week. “You see friends turn on friends all the time. You see family turn on family.”
The family that was there for Marshawn—including his mom, uncles, and cousins, many of whom were talented athletes, saw a lot of potential in the shy, hurt little kid who ate Skittles before games and showed unusual endurance from a young age. “I’ll tell you why, and nobody knows this either,” Delisa tells Seahawks.com. “When I was pregnant with Marshawn, he was supposed to have a twin. When I had Marshawn, another placenta came out. That’s when the midwife said, ‘Don’t be surprised if he’s an amazingly strong child.’ So Marshawn is a twin to himself.”
Whether the cause of his football ability is talent, work ethic, or an extra placenta, Marshawn’s athleticism and academic performance got him into the University of California—Berkeley, where he was a star for the Golden Bears football team and earned a 3.2 GPA as a Social Welfare major. Before he even began his NFL career, he understood that he could leverage his status as a prominent athlete to make a difference in his community, the way people like Delton Edwards and his uncles had made a difference for him.
When Marshawn went pro and picked an agent—naturally, a local Bay Area guy named Doug Hendrickson—Doug was amazed at his new client’s focus. “In the first meeting, he wasn’t asking about his contract,” he told Peter King. “Honest to God, his dream was to build a youth center for kids in Oakland.”
In 2011, Marshawn teamed up with a cousin, NFL quarterback Josh Johnson, to launch a Bay Area non-profit called the Fam 1st Family Foundation. He hosts hundreds of kids each year at a free football camp, and plans to do much more; his fully-realized youth complex will have a computer lab, a gymnasium, a music studio, and will increasingly segue from its current focus on sports. “The main component we want to teach is basic life skills I feel a lot of kids are missing,” Marshawn said to Sports Illustrated. “How to balance a checkbook, create a résumé, how to fill out a job application, how to speak with confidence one-on-one.”
“This is not a vanity project,” says supporter and current California Lieutenant GovernorGavin Newsom, who met Marshawn when Gavin was mayor of San Francisco. “I’ve been in this racket long enough to have seen a lot of athletes who are just going through the motions, just checking a box. Marshawn has a deep commitment. He genuinely cares about his community, which is inspiring to see. Not only is he going to get this place built, but I’m going to predict the doors will never close.”
In addition to the non-profit and the youth center, Marshawn also does a lot of day-to-day assistance with disadvantaged children, from turkeys on Thanksgiving and presents on Christmas to free tickets to games and tours of the locker room. Pointedly, he’s disallowed the team’s media relations staff from inviting the press to witness any of these interactions with kids and their families.
“I think he’s a great philanthropist. He does anything for kids,” says Richard Sherman, one of the handful of other Seahawks who have started a non-profit. “And I think that if more people saw that side of him, they would look at him differently.”
“I feel that’s most important,” Marshawn told 710 ESPN Seattle. “To put a different light into their lives and let them know that they actually do have a chance.”
In saying so, Marshawn seems redolent of James Baldwin, who wrote in Nothing Personal: “It is necessary, while in darkness, to know that there is a light somewhere, to know that in oneself, waiting to be found, there is a light.”
“Generations do not cease to be born,” Baldwin continues in the same essay. “And we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have.”
Marshawn says, “Most people told me growing up that I would either be dead or in jail by the age of 18. I have friends that didn’t make it to 18. I’ve got homeboys now that have been in jail since they was 16. This is something that I wanted to change in my neighborhood. I felt if I could influence one kid to try to help them through life, that’s a win for me.”
Marshawn Lynch wasn’t sure if he would attend Super Bowl XLVIII Media Day. On Tuesday, Lynch did indeed appear at the event to briefly speak with the assembled media before spending some additional time with NFL Network’s Deion Sanders.
Marshawn Lynch Scores in SUPER BOWL!!!
If Marshawn had any love for the spotlight, or even the slightest desire to soak up the fame associated with America’s most hyped sporting event, Tuesday could serve as a coming-out party for the ages.
With thousands of reporters set to descend upon the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., for Super Bowl XLVIII Media Day, Lynch has a compelling story to tell — which, in all likelihood, the Seattle Seahawks’ star running back will go to great lengths to avoid telling.
As of Monday, Lynch, the NFL’s answer to Greta Garbo, was still deciding whether to show up for the mandatory team-interview session, even at the risk of incurring fines that could exceed $100,000.
Even if he does appear at the podium, look for Lynch to give a figurative stiff-arm to reporters’ questions with the same ferocity he displays when pushing away would-be tacklers on his trademark Beast Mode rushes.
“If you’re forced to do something, it’s not as good as if you choose to do it,” Lynch told NFL Media last week during an expansive interview, making an exception to his three (words) and out approach to answering questions from reporters. “So no, I won’t have a lot of interesting things to say. When you’re forced to do something and you know it, it kind of just takes away from the whole experience of what it could be if (it were) natural. So, I’ll probably give forced answers.”
This is where I feel obligated to throw the columnist’s equivalent of a red challenge flag, if only to remind readers that Lynch’s ascent to the pinnacle of his profession has been nothing short of super. He has overcome a lot, from the rough streets of Oakland to the trouble-filled opening act of his NFL career, and the fact that he’s still standing is a testament to his resilience.
“He’s certainly authentic, and that’s so refreshing in this ‘look-at-me,’ celebrity-obsessed culture of ours,” California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said of his friend Lynch, for whom he is flying east to attend the Super Bowl. “We need a little of that, and I love his story. It’s good to see someone get better after he signs a big contract. And it’s good to see someone who, let’s be candid, has rebounded after some rough patches earlier in his career.”
As the rare media member to whom Lynch has opened up over the years, from his carefree days at Cal to his choppy stint in Buffalo to his satiating revival in Seattle, I can attest that the man known as Money is fully capable of living up to his nickname in interviews.
Last week’s was no exception: When I asked him to describe the low point of his stint with the Buffalo Bills, who took him in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft and dealt him to the Seahawks four games into his fourth season, his response was pure columnist’s gold.
[vsw id=”U1QHe6qGvos” source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”]
“My lowest point?” Lynch replied. “I had a bunch of them, and I overcame them. I don’t think I ever had a lowest point while on an active NFL roster. My lowest point came (growing up), when we were trying to figure out what we were gonna eat at night. My lowest point came when I’d wash my jeans at night — and hopefully they were dry by the morning, so I wouldn’t have to go to school in wet jeans. Or, if they were still damp, I’d iron ’em so at least they’d be hot for a moment.”
Lynch has never been hotter than he is at this current moment, having come up big in each of the Seahawks’ playoff victories — as he did three postseasons ago, when his iconic, 67-yard touchdown run against the New Orleans Saints caused a literal earthquake and propelled him into a new realm of recognition.
Following Lynch’s 22-carry, 109-yard performance in the Seahawks’ 23-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in last Sunday’s NFC Championship Game, which included a 40-yard touchdown run that woke up Seattle’s offense early in the third quarter, fullback
Michael Robinson said of his backfield mate, “He is the face of the franchise, and his running style epitomizes what our team is all about.”
Really, though, Lynch has spent the past several years remaking himself as significantly off the field as he has in a football uniform. From his dogged devotion to charitable causes close to his heart to his growing collection of incongruous celebrity friends such as Newsom, Lynch is not the Beast you probably think he is, even though he most definitely plays one on TV.
“The man’s empathetic,” said Newsom, a native San Franciscan and diehard Niners fan who plans to spend time with Lynch after arriving in New York later this week, and who will be at MetLife Stadium on Super Sunday to cheer him on against the Denver Broncos. “Not long after Sunday’s (NFC title) game, he called me from his house and said, ‘Sorry, man. I hate to do that to your team.’ I’m thinking, ‘Hey, Marshawn’s a politician!’ But really, that sums him up — even in that moment, he wasn’t celebrating or boasting or rubbing it in. He showed compassion, which is the norm for him.”
This is not to say that Lynch should in any way be considered normal.
“No, he’s definitely not,” Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said last Thursday. “But we love him — and he’s a lot smarter than people give him credit for.”
As Sherman spoke, Lynch was engaged in his typical mid-day behavior in the Seahawks’ locker room: strutting around in a zone of his own, blasting hip-hop on his portable sound system and intermittently injecting himself into teammates’ conversations, invariably provoking laughter. He had his sweatpants pulled down to his hamstrings, revealing gray boxer shorts, and had a ski cap yanked low over his forehead.
“You’re gonna get the same guy every day,” Tarvaris Jackson, the Seahawks’ backup quarterback, said of Lynch. “He’s not gonna be fake with you, that’s for sure.”
Clearly, Lynch is at home in Seattle. Though he has not completely avoided trouble since arriving — he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in July 2012 in Oakland and subsequently charged, and the case is still unresolved — he has found fulfillment in the Pacific Northwest.
“If you look around our locker room, you see a lot of guys that’ve been in similar situations, where it hasn’t just been all glitter and gold,” Lynch said. “A lot of us have been through a lot of struggles, or played on another team, or we didn’t get drafted where we thought we should, or had a rough childhood and troubled careers. It’s cool to look around the locker room and see guys that done have some real-life stuff, and see them come together on a daily basis.”
Life was far less idyllic for Lynch in Buffalo, where, despite posting a breakout rookie season (280 carries for 1,115 yards in 13 games) and a follow-up campaign that resulted in the first of four Pro Bowl selections, he ultimately became persona non grata, especially after the franchise selected C.J. Spiller with the ninth overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft.
In fairness, Lynch brought a lot of that on himself, thanks to off-the-field drama that included a hit-and-run incident and a guilty plea to a misdemeanor gun charge. He was essentially dumped by the Bills, who sent him to Seattle in October 2010 for a fourth-round pick in 2011 and a fifth-rounder in 2012.
“I had a couple of run-ins in Buffalo, and there was probably some bad blood between me and the organization,” Lynch conceded. “So I can understand why they’d have wanted to make the move. It never was my intention to put a black eye on the organization. I’m just thankful for the opportunity that I had to get out, and I respect their decision in coming and getting me. It’s a great place to be.”
Lynch, Seahawks SUPER BOWL CHAMPS!!!
Completing the trade became a personal obsession for Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who, during his time at USC, had coached against Lynch’s Cal Golden Bears — and who aggressively lobbied Seattle general manager John Schneider to swing a deal.
“Marshawn was a guy that we went after directly,” Carroll said in an interview that will air on NFL Network’s “GameDay Morning” on Sunday. “I was really excited about getting him on our football team, because I knew he was unique and he was special and he was tough and he was a fierce competitor. We spent months trying to get that trade done.
Pete Carroll, 62-year-old deejay? Michael Silver chronicles the omnipresent music that fuels these fun-loving Seahawks. READ
“I wore John out on that thing, and we finally got it done, and it’s been really an extraordinary part of our program. He’s done everything we asked of him. And he’s had a great run, and he’s been compensated well, for what he stands for and for what he brings to this program.”
Lynch, who signed a four-year, $31 million deal in March 2012, mostly stands for indefatigable toughness.
“Everything about him is tough, from the way he runs to the way he is, but he’s a positive force, and he’s very team-oriented,” said Earl Thomas, the Seahawks’ All-Pro free safety. “The way he fights for extra yards inspires all of us. He’s the concrete of our offense. When I see him do those things, I think, ‘Man, turn it up.’ I like that. I like players who can really change the tenor of the game.”
Added Robinson: “Guys feed off what he does. I don’t know if there’s another back that can cut laterally with more power on one leg like he can. I mean, Adrian (Peterson) might be faster straight ahead, but off one leg … I don’t know. And nobody wants to tackle that guy in January or February.”
Lynch is proud of his physical running style, saying, “It’s something that every running back takes pride in, no matter how you do it. It just so happens I have the ability to do it more than one way, whether it’s making a guy miss, stiff-arming a guy or even running over a guy. Everybody loves ‘extras.’ I try to bring that to every game.”
Yet surround him with a group of men and women bearing cameras, microphones and notepads, and his speech is suddenly devoid of any extras. Certainly, he can walk the walk, but he has very little desire to talk the talk.
In a world in which false humility has become so pervasive that humblebrag is now part of the modern lexicon, Lynch truly wants to deflect the attention coming his way.
“He’s the complete opposite of what people think,” Seahawks outside linebacker Cliff Avril insisted. “He’s a team person. He’s not one of those guys who makes it about himself.”
To this, Lynch reluctantly pleads guilty.
“Yeah, that’s all it is,” he said. “I’ve never seen anybody win the game in the media. But at the same time, I understand what it could do for you, if you wanted to be someone who talks a lot. But that’s not me.
“And I’m not as comfortable, especially at the position I play, making it about me. As a running back, it takes five offensive linemen, a tight end, a fullback and possibly two wide receivers, in order to make my job successful. But when I do interviews, most of the time it’ll come back to me. There are only so many times I can say, ‘I owe it to my offensive linemen,’ or, ‘The credit should go to my teammates,’ before it becomes run down.
“This goes back even to Pop Warner. You’d have a good game and they’d want you to give a couple of quotes for the newspaper, and I would let my other teammates be the ones to talk. That’s how it was in high school, too. At Cal, I’d have my cousin, Robert Jordan, and Justin Forsett do it.
“Football’s just always been hella fun to me, not expressing myself in the media. I don’t do it to get attention; I just do it ’cause I love that (expletive).”
So if Media Day, to Lynch, looms as the equivalent of getting his dreadlocks pulled out of his head, one by one, know this: Super Sunday will absolutely live up to its name. For someone so attuned to his roots and cognizant of his journey, it’s an opportunity that will not be taken for granted.
Lynch in SUPER BOWL Championship Parade
“I mean, it feels good, ’cause this is something that I’ve dreamed about for a long time,” Lynch said. “Growing up in Oakland, a lot of us never knew the world was bigger than outside of the ‘580’ and the ‘880,’ the two freeways that bordered where we lived. We didn’t see anything past that.
“Coming from the ‘hood, being raised the way I was, and having the support system around me, it allowed me to be in position to expand my world. People on the streets who’d see something I was doing that was positive … my mom putting a foot in my ass consistently … family members and friends and teachers and coaches helping me make good choices … all of that.
“There were probably some situations that didn’t look promising. It didn’t look like I’d make it out. And looking back, there are some situations where I was blessed.”
For that, he’s very thankful — in his own, quiet way.

Before Jason Collins

Before Jason Collins
The world is throwing a parade for Jason Collins, the 7-foot free-agent NBA center who came out last month. He was hugged by Oprah, celebrated by “Good Morning America,” and congratulated by President Obama.

But nobody seems to remember baseball’s Glenn Burke, who tried to come out nearly 40 years ago and was stuffed back in.

“How’s Jason Collins going to talk about being the first?” says Burke’s agent, Abdul-Jalil al-Hakim. “Glenn Burke was the first. And he wasn’t any free agent, either. He was in the lineup.”

Glenn Burke was a barrel-chested jokester, a singing, dancing, one-man cabaret. His teammates called him King Kong. In high school, the 6-foot Burke could dunk two basketballs at once, in street shoes. He roamed center field for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland A’s in the late 1970s.

Burke was the pulse of the clubhouse. He wore a red jock. He’d jump in the backs of pink Rolls-Royces after games. He invented the high-five (with Dusty Baker). Oh, yes, he did.

He was as out as an athlete could be in the mid-1970s. It wasn’t that he was flaunting it. It was that he couldn’t keep it in.

“When we’d land at airports,” remembers Davey Lopes, the Dodgers’ second baseman. “There’d always be guys waiting for Glenn. We’d go our way and he’d go off on his merry way. We’d go to clubs and women would hand him their numbers. But he’d never call ’em. Didn’t matter to us. We loved him.”

In the famous 1977 Dodgers-Yankees World Series — starring Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, Steve Garvey, and Ron Cey — only one rookie cracked either starting lineup: Glenn Burke.

“Nobody tripped that he was gay,” says Burke’s longtime pal, Doug Harris, who produced the documentary “Out” about Burke in 2010. “The people who tripped off it were the Dodgers [management]. They didn’t want to talk about it. He was trying to tell the reporters, but they said they couldn’t write that stuff.”