OKLAHOMA CITY, February 17, 2012—Tell me who this sounds like: Hugely popular athlete, jersey is the number one seller in the country, on Sports Center every five seconds, wins games in an unbelievable fashion, was third string until injuries and poor play by the people in front of him forced the coach to start him, after his team was below .500 went on a streak to make them competitive, and gives outward praise to God after every win.
Tim Tebow? No, no, no. That is so 2011. Of course we are describing the New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin.
A lot of the pundits have compared Tebow and Lin and it is a little ridiculous. Tebow was a star in college, Heisman Trophy winner, national champion and first round draft pick. Nobody knew who Jeremy Lin was until two weeks ago. Lin went to Harvard, wasn’t drafted and had been cut by two teams before getting his chance with the Knicks. So their respective stories are very different.
But the comparisons in the first paragraph of this page can’t be ignored. So since there are so many similarities, how come there is one more glaring difference? Tebow is the most polarizing athlete right now and pretty much everybody is rooting for Linn. Why is there such a disparity?
The first thing that people usually bring up is the religion factor. Tebow is overtly Christian, giving praise to God after wins and even after losses.
So Linn isn’t as outwardly religious? Currently, the quote at the top of Lin’s twitter is “to know Him is to want to know Him more.” Several of Lin’s tweets end with “God is good” or something to that respect. In most post game interviews he mentions of being thankful to God.
A reporter tweeted that when Lin hit the game winning three against the Kings, the Lakers locker room erupted and Metta World Peace was yelling about “Linsanity.” Any NFL teams cheering for Tebow when he drives down the field for a win?
When Tebow was named the starter for the Broncos the team was 1-4. Tebow led the team to a division championship, and at one point had a six game winning streak. The Knicks haven’t lost a game since Lin became the starter.
Is it how they play? Tebow’s mechanics aren’t the best, and at times he looked like he had never watched a football game let alone played in one. Lin’s highlights are great. He is spinning, passing, hitting threes. He looks legit.
Lin is in a perfect storm right now. Carmelo Anthony can be quicksand with the basketball and he is hurt right now. The Knicks are coached by Mike D’Antoni who likes to run and allows his point guards to free-wheel. It doesn’t hurt media-wise that he is in the biggest market in the country and this all happened in the two weeks after the Super Bowl.
While Lin’s hype might be bigger than Tebow’s, his Q rating isn’t quite to the level of the Broncos’ quarterback yet. My mom knows who Tim Tebow is, but she probably thinks Jeremy Lin is a guy I went to high school with.
There will be a backlash. Just wait. People will start hating just like they do on Tebow. We’ve just had a longer amount of time to get tired of Tebow; it will happen to Lin too. Pundits are already finding flaws in his game.
For now, Lin is must-see-TV and probably the most fun stories in sports. Eventually it will wear off and Lin will probably come back down to earth. Until then, all he does is Lin!
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