‘Linsanity’ Saves Fans From The Most Boring Two Weeks In Sports

February 14, 2012
By K. Becks

Remember Tebowmania? You know, the infatuation it seemed the entire country had with the Denver Broncos quarterback less than a month ago. There is almost undoubtedly a picture of you or someone you know doing a certain pose associated with the quarterback on your phone or Facebook page.

It seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it? If you have already forgotten, don’t beat yourself up too much. You’re not the only one who has moved on to the next big thing.

Linsanity, the latest craze to take the casual sports fan community by storm, has made it hard to remember that we have already ridden this rollercoaster before. Apparently, it was exciting enough to hop on for a second ride.

The subject of this mostly media perpetuated frenzy, Jeremy Lin, actually has a little bit in common with the Denver quarterback aptly nicknamed “The Mile High Messiah”. Like Tebow, Lin believes that his faith in God has something to do with his recent and newfound success. “I’ve surrendered to God,” he told the San Jose Mercury News. “I’m not in a battle with what everybody else thinks anymore.”

However, that is really where the comparison ends. While Tebow was a star in college at the University of Florida and was a highly scrutinized first round draft pick in 2010, Lin is a Harvard graduated that went undrafted and floated around the NBA for a couple of years before being picked up by the New York Knicks.  

Where these two athletes came from and how they rose to fame isn’t really the issue, though. The matter at hand is simply that they did rise to fame, thanks to the short attention span of the typical sports fan.

Currently, we’re amidst a “dead” period in the sports calendar. With the Super Bowl in the rear view mirror and March Madness a little over a month away, most people are scrambling to find something sports related to share during water cooler conversations. It’s the equivalent of a month long “Slow Tuesday”.

To a certain sports media giant, the rise of Lin couldn’t have come at a better time or place. In addition to filling the gap between the NFL’s and NCAA’s biggest events, Linsanity is occurring in the country’s largest market. Preparing a nightly highlight reel for Lin is only natural for the biggest hype-factory in the business.

This isn’t to say that the attention is undeserved. Lin has played extremely well in his first five games and has reinvigorated a fan base that was in dire need of a jolt in part because of injuries to star players, but also because of heightened preseason expectations that have thus far not been met. No one is suggesting that he is going to be the next Kobe Bryant. It’s just a nice story.

Still, the question remains: would this story be nearly as huge if there was anything else going on in the world of sports? Could Linsanity compete with the likes of March Madness or even smaller events such as the Daytona 500 or the beginning of spring training?

Who knows. Who cares. The only reason I’m even posing the question is because there isn’t much else to talk about. We should all just be happy that it’s happening, though, because the most boring two weeks in sports can do a number on you quicker than you’d think.

- K. Becks

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