While professional athletes usually stick to strict diets, everyone has their favorite indulgence. LeBron James apparently loves sweets and big breakfasts; Steph Curry puts down a box of popcorn before hitting the court. Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch may be the most famous candy fan of them all. Beast Mode wouldn’t be Beast Mode without a bag of Skittles.
While no one, not even Lynch, claims that Skittles are a health food, the running back’s love of the candy stems from a simple physical problem. As a young player, the candy became his miracle cure.
Marshawn Lynch’s football career
During high school, Marshawn Lynch played quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and defensive back. The offensive backfield, however, would prove to be his permanent home.
Lynch spent three NCAA seasons at Cal before entering the 2007 NFL draft. The Buffalo Bills selected him 12th overall and immediately handed him the starting job. The running back would spend three full seasons in Western New York before being traded to the Seahawks.
While Lynch had shown potential during his first two seasons with Buffalo, he truly burst onto the scene with the Seahawks. During his first season in the Pacific Northwest, he literally caused an earthquake; he followed that up with 1,200 rushing yards in 2011 and almost 1,600 in 2012. The running back helped Seattle win their first Super Bowl title in franchise history but eventually retired, then came back to join the Oakland Raiders.
Lynch spent a season and a half with Oakland before retiring for a second time, but that wasn’t the end of his career. He came out of retirement to rejoin the Seahawks last season after their running back corps was decimated by injury; he may spend the 2020 campaign with the club, too.
Why does Marshawn Lynch love Skittles?
While plenty of professional athletes have routines and superstitions, Marshawn Lynch’s might be the tastiest. The running back loves Skittles, even eating some candy on the sidelines.
The tradition dates back to childhood—either during high school or Pop Warner football, depending on the story—when Lynch wasn’t feeling well before taking the field. He found candy settled his stomach, and the rest is history.
It’s really a mind-over-matter thing,” Lynch explained in 2014 after partnering with his favorite candy. “It was something I did back in Pop Warner. My stomach used to get upset, and we tried everything: Alka Seltzer. Pepto … all kinds of things. And then for some reason, my mama just told me, ‘Eat this candy.’ I forgot what candy it was that she gave me, but it settled my stomach. So I told her I liked it, but it takes too long to eat it. So then the next game she came with a big-ass bag of Skittles and was like, ‘Here, you can chew these down real fast.’ And that’s how it happened. It was just the candy of her choice.”
Skittles have led to success, both on and off the field
While popping Skittles every time you have an upset stomach probably isn’t the healthiest habit, everything worked out for Marshawn Lynch. The running back has since found success both on and off the field.
In 2014, Lynch reportedly signed an endorsement deal with Skittles. While the terms weren’t revealed, it’s safe to assume that the running back earned a nice chunk of change; during the height of his career, Lynch took home an estimated $5 million per year from all of his endorsements.
Although the rumor that Lynch never spent any of his salary and lived solely off his endorsement money wasn’t true, he’s made more than $56 million playing football and has an estimated net worth of $30 million. If his mother never gave him a pack of Skittles, none of that would have been possible.