NEWARK, N.J — The awkward comedy of the Super Bowl’s annual clown-car event — how many media types can you cram into America’s consciousness? — was in full Beast Mode Tuesday afternoon when Marshawn Lynch showed up and made it into Least Mode.

The Seahawks running back, elusive professionally and personally, ambled into and out of the American sports spotlight in about six minutes. Unharmed.

But bewildered.

Looking up through sunglasses to the upper deck of the Prudential Center arena in one of America’s most economically battered cities, he saw a few thousand fans looking back at him.

Each side stared at the other with the eyes of trout in a fry pan.

“They come to watch people get interviewed?” Lynch said, neck craned. “This is amazing right here.”

More amazing: To get in, they paid $28.50 per person. Plus parking.

Hard to say what is more astonishing: That the NFL had the chutzpah to ask for money, or that people were foolish enough to pay it.

Nearly as surprising was that Lynch, who is to circumspection what comedian Lewis Black is to rage, showed up. Lynch studiously avoided all interviews this season until the NFL threatened him with a $100,000 fine if he didn’t fulfill his contractually obligated duties to patter with the press.

Read the rest of Art Thiel’s “Lynch Appears, But Seahawks Make Sale” at

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