Linsanity to Warm the Cockles of Your Heart


nyt lin jeremy.jpgAmid the harsh days of winter chills while waiting for the warmth of spring to finally arrive, amid the slow-starting election campaigns in France and the United States that have so far failed to ignite any flames of enthusiasm, a sports story has erupted in the U.S that has warmed hearts around the globe. Jeremy Lin has created a sensation. The New York Times had 11 articles about him in five days; Linsanity is front page news.

Jeremy Lin is a basketball player for the New York Knicks in the top professional league. Of Taiwanese descent, he was a good high school player smart enough to go to Harvard. However, he was not selected by any professional team, but did play occasionally for two teams which let him go. His basketball career was totally without distinction until...The New York Knicks signed him because they needed warm bodies on the bench. He played very little, and without distinction until...

Two weeks ago, the Knicks' coach put him into a game for longer than usual. All of a sudden, Lin began to light it up. The team won, he scored over 20 points. The next game he started. The team won, he scored over 20 points. The Knicks, my team but honestly mediocre, have gone on to win seven games in a row. In six straight games he averaged over twenty points and seven assists. Linsanity became the rage even outside the United States; he was hailed during a game in Toronto and fans in Taiwan and China have been following his every move.

Why is he so popular? Jeremy Lin is the National Basketball Association's (N.B.A.) first American-born player of Taiwanese or Chinese descent. He obviously appeals to the Asian-American community. In addition, he represents the underdog, the player who through perseverance and patience was able to succeed. The fact that he is a Harvard graduate playing in the N.B.A. as well as deeply religious add to his luster.

So, if you have the end of winter blues, are tired of reading about the poor economy, bank cheating, civil unrest and wars or posturing politicians divorced from reality, try the sports pages and get with Linsanity. It may not last, but it is certainly a breath of warm air on chilly nights.



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