Sports fans are going “Linsane” for New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin, and why shouldn’t they? An underdog of underdogs, Lin has done what even Tim Tebow could not.
Have you gone “Linsane” yet? It’s the latest sports sensation sweeping the country since Tebowmania had us checking the clock for Tebow Time. But Linsanity is different (and perhaps soon to be trademarked), and it was even all over Sports Illustrated—covering the sports magazine for an unlikely two weeks in a row in February. Not unless you’re Michael Jordan or Dirk Nowitzki do you get that kind of love–ever.
Second year Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow had people—both diehard fans and casual observers—glued to their TV sets all season, particularly in the fourth quarter because that’s when the magic happened. And while Tebow’s ability to succeed in the NFL as a quarterback was questioned, no one had ever doubted whether or not he’d succeed. He was, after all, one of the most sought-after high school recruits who went on to play at the University of Florida, where he won a laundry list of awards—and broke as many records—while leading the Gators to two BCS National Championships and earning himself the coveted Heisman Trophy.
Raise your hand if you had heard of Jeremy Lin before he stepped in for an injured teammate and did what even Tebow could not. That’s exactly what makes Lin’s story even better. Here’s a kid who played basketball at Harvard University—despite his coaches thinking he was better suited for Division III ball, if any. And just this year, he bounced around the NBA and its developmental league, being cut by two teams before landing with the New York Knicks. So under-the-radar was he that he was crashing on his brother’s couch–until, of course, he became an overnight sensation.
Now Lin has his own couch. His signed rookie card sold for more than $21,000 on eBay, and it’s unlikely that most of us could watch the phenom in person as he’s had his effect on ticket prices, too. Not bad for a kid we never saw coming.
Sure, it was nice to see Tebow silence his critics at the next level. But Lin didn’t even have the luxury (or curse) of those who knew of him enough to criticize him. At least not through major media channels. (By this point in Tebow’s career, we’d heard of him ad nauseam.) Despite the Knicks dropping a couple games, the Linsanity continues, helped along by those back-to-back Sports Illustrated covers and the clamoring for Lin jerseys and other merchandise.
No, it won’t last forever. But regardless of its duration, it’s nice to see—and to be reminded—that even the most ordinary or unheralded among us can overcome the odds if we’re simply ready to take the chance when it’s presented.