All I do is Lin
So unless you’ve been under a rock or are completely uninterested in sports, I’m sure you’re aware of the story of New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin. As a Lakers fan, I had the displeasure of watching highlights of his 38 point career high last Friday night. As they are wont to do, ESPN has been on an all-out blitz on all things Lin. Last evening’s SportsCenter even had a Jeremy Lin top 10, highlighting his most outstanding plays. Nearly every program has made mention of his spectacular play and has touted the near-pandemonium that has erupted throughout the Knicks fan base. The outpouring of superlatives to describe him and his play on the court is expected as Knicks fans haven’t had much to cheer about lately. There have also been some in the media who have compared him to Tim Tebow. While his against-all-odds rise to stardom has been nothing short of amazing, to compare him to Tebow is to fail to recognize the overwhelming obstacles he has had to overcome to be where he is today. Unlike Tebow, he didn’t play on two NCAA national championship teams. He didn’t have the acclaim of winning his sports’ most highly regarded award – the Heisman Trophy. He didn’t play for a collegiate powerhouse in one of the most recognized collegiate athletic conferences. He does, however have a degree from one of the most recognized institutions of higher learning in the United States.
Not everyone has been so caught up in the Lin-sanity, however. Floyd Mayweather took to Twitter on Monday to voice his opinion – see here. While Mayweather may have a valid point about Lin’s popularity, I don’t think it has as much to do with race as it does with the underdog nature of the story. He was an undrafted free-agent signing of the Golden State Warriors. After being released by the Warriors, he was claimed off waivers by the Houston Rockets. After being waived by the Rockets, the Knicks picked him up – primarily due to injury issues and to shore up their beleaguered point guard position after injuries to several players left them thin at that position. He was then sent to the NBA’s development league. He scored a triple-double with the Erie Bayhawks and was called up to the Knicks a few days later. He was reportedly close to being released again, until the Knicks bad play and another Baron Davis injury setback put him in the lineup. The rest is history. I believe the fact that because he is not black, not 7-foot plus, didn’t play for an NCAA basketball powerhouse, is what makes his story so compelling. Seriously, the guy was sleeping on his brothers’ and teammates’ couches not so long ago, and Floyd needs to stop ducking Manny Pacquiao. 😉
R.I.P. Whitney Houston
I was hanging out at the Iowa State University Memorial Union Saturday after doing some studying, er reading, er catching a library nap when I saw the news come on one of the televisions. I was aghast. It was one of those “Oh, no!” moments. One of my strongest memories in relation to Whitney Houston was seeing The Bodyguard with my dad during Christmas break in December ’92. It’s a good movie with a great soundtrack. I also recalled the time I actually listened to the lyrics and discovered “Saving All My Love for You” was a song about having an affair. I was like UGH! It’s still a beautiful song musically. I can also recall watching her sing the national Anthem before Super Bowl XXV, which is still the standard by which all such appearances are measured – see here. I remember when she and Bobby Brown were married and thinking, “Um, okay.” Her struggles with substance abuse have been well documented, and to rehash them now seems like too much piling on. I’ll just say let’s continue to pray for the well being of friends and loved-ones, particularly Bobbi Kristina.
I’ll close out with a clip of the Jeremy Lin game winner against the Toronto Raptors and one of my favorite Whitney Houston song.