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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tim Tebow is NOT Jeremy Lin
Posted by Jill | 6:24 AM
It's so breathtakingly stupid, so, well, WILPONIAN, that you almost have to wonder how a long-standing Mets fan like me can still be gut-punched by anything a sports organization does. You'd think that after nearly fifty years of watching that baseball team in Flushing make so many dumb moves, I'd be immune to sports organizational stupidity.

Maybe it's true that we in the New York area just don't understand religious people. But the only explanation for why the Jets organization decided it was a great idea to bring Tim Tebow and his thanking Jesus every time the ball leaves his hands to New York is that they looked at Madison Square Garden and saw the Knicks go on a tear the minute Jeremy Lin took to the court for the first time and either started believing that God really does micromanage sports games, or more likely, decided that wresting the back page of the Daily News every Sunday frm the classy Giants organization was worth any downside to bringing Jesus of the Rockies to the most heathen place in America.

But Linsanity was never about Jeremy Lin's faith. God didn't become a Knicks fan just because a devout Christina joined the team. Linsanity occurred because Jeremy Lin was a better player than anyone expected and because no one knew how to play against him yet. Add to that the mystique of Harvard and how there's still a fair amount of cognitive dissonance around the idea of an Asian basketball player (Yao Ming notwithstanding), and you have enough to satisfy the maw of the New York sports press. Yes, Jeremy Lin is devout, but he hasn't made it part of his public persona. He's a Book of Matthew Christian:

6:5
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

6:6
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

No one hates Tebow because of his faith. If they did, Jeremy Lin would be just as reviled, and he's not. Lin's faith appears to inform his life, not define it to the near-exclusion of all else. With Tebow, you get the sense that the show -- the dropping to the knee, the praising of Jesus in every post-game interview -- is less about his faith than about creating a public persona. That may not be the case, but it certainly appears that way.

Linsanity has died down now that teams have learned how to play against Jeremy Lin. He's still a fine player, but no one's treating him like a god anymore. Tim Tebow led the Broncos to winning six games, in Denver, against crummy teams, and he became a god. The difference is that in buying into the media hype and allowing himself to become Tebow®!!!, he betrayed his own savior's words -- something Jeremy Lin has never done.

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3 Comments:
Anonymous BNJ said...
Christ, who cares? Who gives a shit about this guy one way or another? It's really beyond me why people have such strong feelings about a football player who goes down on one knee. Seriously, what the hell?!

Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...
Jill, as a Mets fan I loathe you go enjoy your two titles!

As I blogger I love you!

As for Lin... Right now he is an okay/good player (admittedly a revelation as an undrafted free agent) but not great.

Sure he's scoring a lot of points and handing out assists but it's because he's jacking-up shot after shot and his turnovers are horrendous!

Great PG's have a high Assist-to-Turnover ratio.

But, Lin's turnover numbers where just awful and his shooting can oft times be woeful.

Check his game log. Those turnover numbers are unacceptable.

However, with a different offense and a coach which uses him as the 3 option (behind Melo and Stoudamire) Lin could make NY a top team.

And these last 5 games (all wins) under a new coach has Lin shooting less and turning it over less...

Blogger Bob said...
When Tim Tebow arrives in his private jet, uniform number on the tail, & TV stations interrupt regular programming, & his PR people are overwhelming the NCAA Tournament, spring training, & the Knicks turnaround, you won't find me calling him "modest."