Friday, February 10, 2012

Who is Jeremy Lin? Tell Me Facebook.

On my way home on the 4 express train to Union Square today, I was cornered against the door by two 30-something tie-wearing men talking loudly about Jeremy Lin. The man closest to me complained about Linsanity and how all the fanfare around Jeremy Lin was unwarranted because the games that Lin scored 20+ points was against bad NBA teams (I have no clue since I don't watch basketball, let alone care about the Knicks) and how he's skeptical about Lin's ability. The other man told an interesting story of how large-size Lin jerseys were sold out at a Modell's and stores are rushing to produce more. During this time that I was eavesdropping, I first thought to myself, "this man's a racist", then I thought about how the only reason why I know who Jeremy Lin is because my Facebook news feed has been flooded with pro-Jeremy Lin video clips the past week. Who is Jeremy Lin? He's a basketball player on the Knicks who went to Harvard and is Asian American. I found that out through Facebook.

While I don't think that man next to me on the train is truly racist, I do think Linsanity has a lot to do with Lin's race. The fact that Jeremy Lin kicks ass makes me pretty proud to be an Asian and now I sort of very minimally care about the Knicks or at least in Lin's story. Any NBA team that had a small window to gain greater press coverage and buzz would take it, explaining the rush in printing Lin jerseys and madness that is the Jeremy Lin internet memes: 

I've always said this (many times sarcastically): Asians don't know how to fail. I used to yell this at BU hockey games when #18 Brandon Yip was on the ice and he always delivered. Whether or not social media and the internet blew the significance of Jeremy Lin's recent success out of proportion doesn't really matter. What matters is a week ago no one knew who Jeremy Lin was, and now, he's become all New York and Asians across America can talk about.

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