AWildDuck encourages freelance editorial and op-ed contributions. Today marks the debut of the very talented Min Yin, an Asian American immigrant, software engineer and mother of 3 bright children — the basketball stars of tomorrow.
The title. “Marry me, Jeremy” was not chosen by Ms. Yin. It appears in a poster held by a Lin fan in the final seconds of the ABC News video linked in the 1st sentence.
If you don’t know the word “LINsanity”, you’re not keeping pace with a phenomenon taking the sports world by storm. Jeremy Lin, the point guard for the New York Knicks, has swept a competitive NBA with a story of underdog becomes super hero. From being an undrafted, overlooked and anonymous player, Lin has become an overnight sensation and focal point of basketball fans. He has led the Knicks to a seven-game winning streak. His gusto makes him an inspiration to millions. Watch any recent Knicks game and see an ocean of fans rooting for him with posters raised. Bask in the intensity of their admiration.
How did so much happen in such little time? First, people love to see a neglected person making it big. Everyone has been an underdog at some time in their past. Deep down in their hearts, sports fans feel a stirring. Perhaps like Jeremy, fans have a dream of making it big. But too often, they give in to financial circumstances and or ridicule—doing whatever it takes to survive. But through Lin, we sense see our own reality and the dreams that might still be.
Watching Lin’s moves, one marvels at how hard he plays. With a relatively slim body, he doesn’t fear collisions with the big guys. Even as he gets knocked hard, somehow he manages to score on the way down. You can almost see his will. It is the triumphant determination of a winner no matter what odds.
Commentators talk about Lin’s intelligence. There’s no doubt about this. Lin is a Harvard grad born to hardworking immigrants—the Silicon Valley elite. He studied economics at America’s flagship university. He certainly is smart. But there is something here than transcends smarts and goes even beyond sports…
I was never a basketball fan, but I have a good layperson understanding of the game. It always seemed to me that basketball was about height, physique and maybe a good eye. Which player is taller, bigger or tougher? If I were asked to handicap a game, my money would be on that one. But I have little interest in watching huge men show off. Sure, they effortlessly score a basket in the absence of a good defense, but I figured that their gift was genetic rather than skill, concentration, intuition and knowing when to take a risk. Talent lives between the ears. Basketball seemed to be a game based on height.
But with Lin, there is graceful strategy, elegant coordination, and an obvious trust between players on his team. You see unselfish passing of the ball. When everyone is huddling under the basket the ball goes out to Lin at the perfect position. Invariably, he scores. The team plays like an intricately designed and well-oiled machine! Every business organization wants to build. They would do well to study the Knicks. It’s not a metaphor, but rather a study in team building. When you see these big guys hug and jump for joy, you realize people of different color and race can get along well, and you have a warm fuzzy feeling that people can be innately good.
In a world of waste, indifference and greed, Jeremy Lin is a refreshing role model! His unflagging attitude demonstrates that – in the long run – persistence pays off; Dreams pay off; Not letting put-downs and ridicules of pessimists pays off. Lin demonstrates a world an individual does the thing he loves and lives the life of his dreams. He exudes pure joy when he plays; joy that comes from knowing he is finally at his rightful place and doing what he was born to do!
Many Wild Ducks had passions and dreams in their youth. But how have fulfilled that passion in the day-to-day grind of life? Through Lin, we see the striving of our youth—like a seed under the weight of soil and the inertia of the earth, trying to break through and become a thriving plant.
During the span of a few days, I have become a major basketball fan. Just last Friday, I watched my first YouTube clip of Lin in competition. It’s exhilarating and inspiring. He disproves a stereotype that Asian men cannot compete in professional basketball. More than that, he proves that if you put in the effort dreams come true. Maybe one day, I too, can proclaim to the world that I am living out my dream. What about you?
Feedback from Wild Ducks is important. I’ll be back from time to time. Drop me a note on the comment form, or better yet, use the feedback link to express your opinion about Jeremy Lin and other examples of inspiration and perspicuity. Until next time, follow your dreams!
From the Editor
Check out Ms. Yin’s 2nd guest editorial, a tribute to Adele and her ability to bring a listener to tears with music.