Linsanity in My Family
I wouldn’t say my family is full of sports fans. My mom followed my brother and me to all of our high school basketball games, and my brother cheered me on in college. When we were younger, we’d watch NFL games or the Celtics in the playoffs, and we enjoyed attending NASCAR races when I was a kid. Both my nieces play basketball for their town and school teams now. That’s pretty much the extent of their interest. They’ll do Super Bowl parties every other year, and my mom listens to me on the radio as often as she can. But it’s safe to say most of my family is fairly unimpressed by what I do for a living.
I’m visiting my brother for a couple days, and I got out of bed to see everyone off to school and work early Thursday. After greeting me with a mouth full of waffle, my younger niece threw her arms straight up in the air and began hopping up and down and shouting, “JEREMY LIN!” Imagine my surprise since I wasn’t even sure she knew the New York Knicks existed. My older niece proceeded to inform me that Lin is Asian…which matters in my family since my sister-in-law is Filipino. She lived in the Philippines until she was 12 and still speaks Tagalog. And now she’s a huge Jeremy Lin fan. Ever since she read about him on the web a few weeks ago, she can’t get enough. She watches all of his highlights on YouTube. My sister-in-law can’t name 5 other current NBA players, but she won’t go a day without googling Lin. The best part of the morning was listening to her and my brother argue over who heard about Jeremy Lin first! My brother rattled off a bunch of facts and figures, and his voice grew louder and louder the more excited he got (just like mine does). He went on to say, “Amy, he’s BRILLIANT!”
This the beauty of the Jeremy Lin story: something for everyone. Hardcore fans appreciate his skills on the court. Marginal fans love how he came out of nowhere to take the NBA by storm. Academics tout his Harvard education. The Asian community points to how he’s breaking ground. And what human being hasn’t felt overlooked, underappreciated, and invisible? Who hasn’t run into a brick wall while chasing a dream, but refused to give up? We can ALL identify with his story. Plus, the more we learn about Lin, the more likeable he becomes. Under a white hot spotlight, he remains humble, gracious, thankful, motivated, articulate, thoughtful, and passionate about basketball. He’s amazed by all the attention, and his focus stays on filling his role with the Knicks and helping them win.
Jeremy Lin, add one more item to your incredible list of accomplishments: getting my family excited about an athlete, a sport, and my job! We all watched the Knicks battle the Heat on Thursday night. I enjoyed watching my brother and nieces cheer or groan with every New York play, and I laughed when my sister-in-law couldn’t watch the end because she’d be too excited to sleep. In my mind, a perfect night, thanks to Linsanity.