Sunday, February 26, 2012

Linsanity vs. Tebowmania

Though Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow are both playmakers on the field, it is hard to compare these two athletes because football is very different from basketball. A basketball season is very long, which allows players to have plenty of games to demonstrate their talent; however, it gives the players less time to get prepared for a game, as they usually have three games a week. Football is the complete opposite, as the season is much shorter. Players only have one game a week, which means that they have plenty of time to get ready for a game, but a lot less games to demonstrate their talent.

Their stories are different. On one hand, after high school, Jeremy Lin did not see his dream of going to play college basketball for a competitive university in California come true, because scouters were too skeptical of his talent and stereotypical of his race. But thanks to his excellent grades, he had the opportunity to attend one of the most prestigious universities in the world: Harvard, where he played varsity basketball and came out of it with a few personal and team records, but undrafted. On the other hand, Tim Tebow was home-schooled from elementary school to high school and then went  on to play college football at the University of Florida, where he won the 2007 Heisman Trophy, received personal awards, led the team to win a couple of championships, and -upon graduation- was drafted by the Denver Broncos.

Yet, somehow, their stories also share some curious similarities. In the personal level, they are both 6’3’’, under twenty five years of age, down to earth, come from Christian families, and are Asian American athletes (Lin was born in The U.S and his family is from Taiwan; and Tebow was born in The Philippines and his family is American). And, in the professional level, they both are new sensations who bring a huge amount of excitement to the game and fans all over the world, and, most importantly, they have the same number one goal, which is to be the best they can be and to do everything to benefit their teams.

This being said, I think Lin’s NBA career will be more successful than Tebow’s NFL career, simply because Lin has demonstrated to possess a better set of skills and abilities than Tebow does, based on what I have seen from them, so far. I understand that Tebow took over the quarterback position when the Broncos’ season record was 1-4 and turned it around into 8-8, leading the team to the playoffs by completing miraculous come backs, and even won the wildcard game against the very tough, Pittsburg Steelers. But to me, all that success was not entirely due to Tebow’s talent, but also because of his teammates' efforts, and the other teams’ mistakes and declinations.

In contrast, Lin started at the point guard position for The New York Knicks after the team had tried everything to succeed, but nothing seemed to work. Lin took control of the team and positive results began to show, instantly. His performance was so spectacular that even when five time All-Star, Carmelo Anthony, suffered a hamstring injury that sidelined him for two weeks, fans were not too worried for Carmelo's return, as the numbers (statistically speaking) that Lin is putting project him to be one of the best players of all times. In addition, Lin's contribution to the Knicks has helped them improve their season record to above .500 by outplaying almost every single player and team he has faced (including championship contenders, such as the Lakers of -five time championship winner, two times Finals MVP, and one time regular season MVP- Kobe Bryant).
I am aware that Tebow, as well as Lin, has proved to be a smart leader, passionate about the game, and his desire to win cannot be more obvious. Nonetheless, I believe Tebow is missing that extra ingredient that Lin has, which is that he is more of a natural talent, as he performs not only up to the expectations, but exceeds them.
Regardless of how these athletes’ careers end up unfolding, I truly admire and respect them. It is impressive to see how well they handle the criticism and pressure from the media, team and fans, and yet are able to build up on their own momentums. I wish them the best and hope that they keep shutting the mouth of all the doubters out there!

- Y gracias por no fumar!

                                            Lin (#17) appears on the left hand side and Tebow (#15) on the right one.
                                                                                   Picture from

1 comment:

  1. Even though I know very little about these two players and sports, I had fun reading this which proves how good of a writer you are. Well done once again Diego!