Look, the kid is amazing. He’s not perfect; he commits a lot of turnovers. But he did step up when given the opportunity and he is a tremendous inspiration to many, many people of all backgrounds, but especially to Asian-Americans, for whom he has become a real hero.
It’s the media and its excesses that go way beyond the pale.
This corny obsession with the “Lin” and other puns turned offensive this week. ESPN had to apologize for a headline on their web site for mobile devices overnight when they actually used the phrase “A Chink in the Armor,” describing his propensity for turnovers. It got taken down after about 45 minutes but the damage was done. The very same phrase was used in a televised discussion earlier this week on ESPN and used yet again by the same network in a non-Lin context during the recent summer Olympics in Beijing.
Fox Sports columnist, Jason Whitlock, has apologized for an offensive tweet he sent out last week. The New York Post got into hot water for an “Amasian” headline they ran the day after he beat Toronto with a last-second three-pointer.
Note to Jeremy Lin- keep doing what you’re doing. Two good weeks of play does not make you a hall-of-famer but your story does mean a lot to many people who’ve spent their lives getting overlooked and dismissed, sometimes for no other reason than their cultural background or the way they look.
Note to the media- your Lin puns and your occasionally racist undertones are not funny. They don’t make you hip or amusing. It’s this lock-step hype that somehow manages to make even an inspirational story like Jeremy Lin, tiresome and annoying.
What’s missing- as usual in this 24/7 media culture of ours- is a sense of good taste, perspective and proportion.
“Wait,” you argue, “Jeremy Lin is a CURRENT fad.” Nope, sorry, this is a week old now. Like those 4-G phone commercials- it’s so “4.7 seconds ago.”
“B-but,” asks the casual sports fan, “I missed this whole Jeremy Lin thing- who is he?”
He was an undiscovered bench warmer born of Taiwanese parents, who kept getting cut by one basketball team after another, played starting point guard for Harvard just two years ago and then, depleted by injuries, the New York Knicks turned to him in desperation and all of a sudden in the past week he’s turned into one of the top scoring players in the NBA and has led a previously hapless basketball squad to 7 straight victories.
And he’s done all this in New York City, which I understand, is a town that contains a number of news organizations and media outlets.
The other thing you need to know about Jeremy Lin is that his name is fodder for pun-filled headlines by New York tabloids which are then picked up by other media organizations. Linsanity! Linsane! 7 Lins, No Losses! Linderella Story! Time magazine has actually already compiled a comprehensive list of bad Jeremy Lin puns entitled: “A Lesson in Lin-guistics.”
Do you see how one could tire so quickly of this phenomenon?
And we had just gotten over Tim Tebow, the last incarnation of an improbable sports hero. You remember how fast “Tebowing” caught on?
OMG—that was so six weeks ago. Tebowing, as we all know, was quickly replaced by Tom Brady-ing. The sad pose struck by a suddenly humiliated sports superstar.
But Good Lord, people, the Superbowl was, what, two weeks ago? We needed a new fad and quickly and- voila! Lin-sational! I know that doesn’t make sense…it doesn’t need to. Go with me here.
What we have accomplished today, ladies and gentlemen, is being one of the first web sites to officially declare itself tired of the Jeremy Lin miracle. That makes us as cutting edge as, say Gawker, or other similarly snarky web sites.
And we’re going to go further than that. The next fad coming down the pike? We’re tired of it already! It doesn’t matter that we don’t know what it is. It’s going to get overplayed and we’re all going to be sick of it, so I’m declaring that Garcia Media Life is tired of it before it even has a chance to rear its ugly head.