Saturday, February 11, 2012

Jeremy Lin is the New Tim Tebow, And That's Just Fine With Me

Linsanity!  It's the craze that's sweeping the nation, or at least that little three state nation that ESPN believes exists.  He did it again last night, putting up a career high 38 points going head to head against Kobe Bryant as the Knicks toppled the Lakers 92-85.  This fourth notch of success will on Lin's belt will ensure that national media's wall to wall coverage will continue in Tebow-esque fashion, and that's just fine by me.
Usually I'm the first guy to gripe about stuff like this.  I can't stand when ESPN fixates on a player - they did it with Tebow and it drove me up the wall.  I was the guy trying to talk my “Tebowliever” friends off of the ledge whenever they made reference to the guy's heroics.  I’d argue with them in public until I made a fool of myself - and then I’d argue some more.
But Lin's exposure, however superfluous it may be, doesn't seem to bother me. It defies reason, and yet I'll try to explain it now.
Firstly, Lin is not a bleeding deacon like Tebow.  Not many people know this, but Lin is a devout Christian.  He told 95.7 The Game's “The Rise Guys” about the inspiration that he draws from Tebow, a fellow Christian.  This was the first mention that I had heard of Lin’s religious devotions.  Albeit only 4 games into Linsanity, there has been little mention of his religion beyond that interview.  After Lin's breakout games, when he faces the cameras, he doesn't make Jesus the sole proprietor of his success. 
Religion is a polarizing part of a man's character - it is controversial and uncomfortable, and when spoken about, it takes the spotlight away from all else.  Jeremy Lin will remain easy to root for so long as he doesn't tout on about his faith from a soap box.
The next reason for my tolerance of Lin is pretty simple - novelty.  Jeremy Lin's success is a new born baby in the sports world.  To call him an all-star right now would be fifteen different kinds of hyperbole - he's had four good games.  It's been exciting and fun to see the local kid shine under the bright New York lights, but perhaps only be because he's a new face on the scene.
We have been dealing with Tim Tebow for far too long now.  He was highly touted coming out of high school and he was a living legend at the University of Florida.  He was bashed for being taken so high in the draft by the Broncos, and yet he got more face time sitting on the bench in Denver than Alex Smith got starting for San Francisco.  Once Tebow actually accrued some playing time? Game over.
Lin's crazy coverage hasn't even been going on for a week, so perhaps my assessment is premature.  Check back with me in a month - if Lin is still lighting it up and they're still talking about him on PTI, my guess is that I'll be sick of him.
My third and most important reason is that where Tebow is a bad quarterback, Lin is a good guard.  Yes, I said it - Tebow is a bad quarterback.  Tim Tebow’s success was completely logic-defying; it amounted to 55 minutes of slop followed by 5 minutes of clutch surgicality (if they can make up the word “tebowing,” I can make up a word like “surgicality”).  Just as beat writers were putting the finishing touches on their newest piece, “The Fall on Tebow,” he would force them to completely change their angle.  I had fierce debates with my friends – “Would you rather have awful Tebow-ball and win or beautiful Cam Newton-ball and lose?”  I always went for the more polished quarterback, even if it meant losing games.  Although the jury may still be out nationally on whether Tebow can be a consistent starter in the NFL, I am convinced – 2 for 6 for 56 yards and one touchdown is not worthy of a starting roster spot.
Lin, on the other hand, is consistent with his abilities.  He doesn’t go 2-for-15 from the floor with one game winning shot – he hits his mark early and he doesn’t stop.  Over here in the Bay Area, we knew about Lin’s explosive abilities; we saw flashes of it last year.  But we certainly didn’t expect that he could play like this.  Nevertheless, Jeremy Lin is leaving no doubt about his skills – there are few holes in his game, whereas with Tebow there are many.  Lin is being crowned the new flavor and that’s fine, because he’s got the tape to prove that he deserves it.
                Keep reading, my friends, because I have a low tolerance for being beaten over the head by ESPN.  I’m sure it won’t be long before I post another blog titled “Okay, I’m sick of Jeremy Lin now.”  But for the moment, he truly is providing a fun story:  A story of actual on court success.  But most importantly, he’s providing us a story that is free of Jesus, illogic, and errant passes.


  1. Ya kno, I was about to use this article to burry the knife of my argument that lin is in fact the new tebow, but as I went on I realized that you actully make many more points on how they are not the same lol, good read none the less keep up the good work candyman!

  2. I think the point of my piece was not to say that Lin is Tebow from an athletic abilities stand point, but only from a media coverage stand point. But you're right, they are two completely different players