We’ve got Jeremy Lin Fever and we’ve got it real bad. Ever since we first noticed him during the February 4th game against the Nets, mouthing the words “we can win this” to his teammates, we’ve been hooked. By the following week, my family could not stop talking about this young phenom. We bought Knicks tickets for a birthday present for my son, Gabriel. Luckily we purchased the tickets before the February 4th game when the prices were just plain high and not Lin-flated high. The tickets were for last Sunday’s game against the champion Dallas Mavericks. Gabe and my husband had an absolutely electric experience. When my husband joined me at a dinner after the game, he was hoarse. He also had a look of elation on his face that could only be equated with the look he had on the days our sons were born.
Why are we so gaga over Jeremy Lin? The fact that he is Chinese-American, like my husband, and actually the first Chinese-American player in the history of the NBA probably has something to do with it. He is also the son of hard-working immigrants, just like my in-laws. He’s humble and a real team-player. He seems to have a nice personality and demeanor. Plus, he’s rallied his whole team and set the Knicks on fire. What’s not to like?
But the real reason, for me anyway, is that he was an undervalued, overlooked, talented underdog who was not being given a chance to show his worth. And now we have the sweet satisfaction of that same underdog, who was not offered a basketball scholarship, was not drafted and was in danger of being cut a third time, finally being given a chance and proving to be a superstar! I always root for the underdog; it’s just something about me (i.e., I’m a Met fan who happens to be married to a Yankee fan). Rooting for the underdog is rarely this satisfying.
Both my sons played basketball when they were in elementary school. Gabe continued and has a real love for the game. When he was very little, he once asked me how much it would cost to play in the NBA. I had to explain that if you were lucky enough to play in the NBA, they would be paying you. He’s currently on his high school junior varsity team. Now his teammates call him Jeremy Lin and bow when he scores a basket. I would be lying if I said I understood all the rules of basketball. I’ve watched countless games and I still don’t always know why they blow the whistle.
What I do understand is that this nice young kid has given us something to cheer about. We found ourselves sitting around the radio listening to games before we got MSG back. When was the last time we did that?? And now, whenever the Knicks are on, the entire family is glued to the TV, including my older son, Matthew, who has never really followed sports. Afterward we call my mother-in-law to rehash the game. Our family in California called to ask if we could get them Lin jerseys and they knew before us which Modell’s had them. This has brought us all closer and provided an inspirational role model for my Chinese-Italian-American sons. I can’t imagine how proud Jeremy Lin’s parents must be, but we are feeling pretty proud ourselves.
Linsanity has hit the Gardens!