Marshawn Lynch is not coming back. No matter how much bad reporting you are hearing right now, Marshawn is retired, and he’s not returning to the team. I know it and you know it. His (hall of fame?) career is over.

Yet more and more news organizations are reporting that he is contemplating a comeback. Facebook and the blogoshpere are wrought with speculation about Marshawn Lynch’s possible return.

Ready for a fun trip down Bad Reporting Lane?

It all starts with a few innocent quotes from his former teammates. When asked about whether they thought Lynch might surprise everyone and return, Richard Sherman said, “I don’t put anything past him. He’s about as predictable as a pair of dice”.

When asked a similar question, Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett offered, “Yeah, I think he’s done. He might make an appearance in the future, but I think he’s done right now”.

Those remarks were then spun into a report from Bleacher Report  which stated that “teammates Michael Bennet and Richard Sherman… expressed curiosity about whether Lynch will play or not”

Ugh. Give me a break. That’s a really bad interpretation of their words at best, and intentionally misleading at worst. Sherman was obviously humoring the reporter, and gave a clear non answer. Bennett was clearly stating that Lynch was not coming out of retirement.

Bleacher Report goes on to add that they have a source who was told by two of Marshawn’s former teammates that Lynch intends to play. So they have an unnamed source, who has two other unnamed sources, as the foundation for the claim that he intends to return. This is the news equivalent of the classic, “friend of a friend” that starts all the good urban legends.

So here we go, a lousy, borderline-deceptive report on Marshawn Lynch out in the wild. It’s silly, but no harm done. Until ESPN picked up the story. And Fox. And NBC. And CBS Sports, and now there are hundreds of news organizations, blogs, and posts on social media talking about it. They all cite the Bleacher Report.

None of them seem to be speculating themselves, just reporting the report. This is how a news agency does the classic “I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin,”.

Let’s recap. The news article is citing bleacher report which is citing an unnamed spure which is citing two ex teammates which are citing Marshawn Lynch saying he intends to play. Return confirmed!

Or we can see that the team has put him on the reserved/retired list. That Marshawn Lynch’s agent says he has retired. That Doug Baldwin is ON the record saying “I’m most certain he’s not coming back”.

But why do that when we can wildly speculate? I’m just sayin’.