“All he does is Lin.”
“You just got Tebowed.”
“Jeremy Lin is Linning.”
“Look! He’s Tebowing!”
Both Jeremy Lin (leading ‘Linsanity’) and Tim Tebow (the man at the center of ‘Tebowtime’) are now revered, polarized and are idols to so many worldwide.
Lin, the undrafted free-agent out of Harvard, has been dropped, demoted and doubted throughout his entire career as a basketball player. Now starring on the Knicks, he has a led them to a 7-1 record since he started playing, and is averaging 24.6 points per game and 8.6 assists per game. He also led a
struggling Knicks team to a 5-0 record without stars Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudamire. While there was worry about what would happen to Linsanity when Anthony and Stoudamire came back, there seems to be nothing to worry about (at least with Stoudamire). Since his return from the tragic death of his brother, the Knicks are 2-1, and Lin is averaging 21 points per game and 9.6 assists per game.What will happen when Anthony returns is a mystery to me. Let’s not forget the Lin puns either. Linsanity, Linning, Linvincible, Linderella, Linception and ‘To Linfinity and beyond’ are just a few, but regardless of which name you want to use, there’s no doubt that the man at the center of it all is thriving (and Linning).
Tim Tebow, the star quarterback out of Florida also had to wait for his turn. When the Broncos were 1-4, and declared Tim Tebow their starter, a mania, a time, and a legend were born. When the Broncos were down 15-0 to the Dolphins late in the fourth quarter, Tebow led them back to victory. When they were down 10-0 to the Bears late in the fourth quarter, Tebow led them back, again. ‘Tebowmania’ was now in full stride. In all, Tim Tebow led the Broncos to an 8-5 record, including a 29-23 overtime playoff victory against the Steelers in which Tebow connected with Demaryius Thomas for an 80-yard touchdown to knock-off the almighty Steelers. This magical run included a six-game winning streak, in which Tebow displayed his heart, will and perseverance to a country that was captivated by the magic of ‘Tebowmania.’
“Tebow displayed his heart, will and perseverance to a country that was captivated by the magic of ‘Tebowmania.”
Linsanity and Tebowmania have their similarities and their vast differences. Let’s start with the similarities:
In the words of former Jets and Chiefs coach Herm Edwards, “You play to win the game, that’s the great thing about sports.” Both Lin and Tebow have fulfilled this grand goal of sports so far. Lin led an 8-15 Knicks team on a seven-game winning streak to put them back into the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race. This method of winning with Lin has been deemed ‘Linning.’ (Winning+Lin= Linning)
To say the least, Tim Tebow has done his part in this, too. He led a last-place 1-4 Broncos team to the Divisional Round of the AFC Playoffs. It’s not just the wins that count with Tebow, it’s the way he won. Four of his eight wins came in overtime games and all eight wins came in games that were one-
possesion games with four minutes or less to go. Even with his harsh critics, Tebow kept winning, which is, after all, the great thing about sports.
Clutch as can be
In two of the eight games that Lin has made a clutch play in the waning seconds to seal the deal. With four seconds left in Minnesota, Lin drew a foul and made a clutch free-throw to give the Knicks the lead, and the win. Three days later, in Toronto, Lin hit a clutch three with 0.5 seconds on the clock to give the Knicks a 90-87 lead. The poise he showed in the last few seconds of these games was reflective of one Kobe Bryant – or maybe even Tim Tebow.
With Tebow, the fourth-quarter dominance is uncontested by anyone. As I said before, all eight of his wins were a one-possesion game with four minutes or less to go. He threw more touchdowns in the fourth quarter than he did in the other three quarters combined. He also threw for more yards in the fourth quarter than the other three combined. While his apparent waiting to thrive caused criticism, he always seemed to do the same thing in the fourth quarter- lead the Broncos on some miraculous drive for a touchdown–and then do it again. Broncos win. This earned the nickname, ‘Tebowtime.”
Those are some of the similarities between Lin and Tebow. Now here are the differences:
In addition to winning, Jeremy Lin has stuffed the stat sheets. Averaging 24.6 points per game and 8.6 assists per game is just the start. His 136 points through his first five starts surpassed Shaq for the most points ever through a player’s first five starts. According to Michael Chernick of Livescience.com, the odds of Jeremy Lin putting together the stats he’s shown every night – eight times in a row- is close to 1 in
7,000,000,000,000. Yeah, Jeremy Lin knows how to ball.
“The odds of Jeremy Lin putting together the stats he’s shown every night – eight times in a row- is close to 1 in 7,000,000,000,000.”
Tim Tebow’s strong suit certainly isn’t putting up monster statistics. He finished the season with a putrid 46.5% completion percentage–the worst in the NFL. Tebow averaged a mere 124 yards per game–also the worst in the NFL. Don’t forget about the fumbles either, Tebow fumbled the ball a grand total of 13 times, which is a stat that eventually cost his team in the end. Even though he had a habit of turning it on in the fourth quarter, his stats were still well below-par.
The media reaction
It is almost bizarre that it seems like everyone loves Jeremy Lin. No one on ESPN or any other network has criticized him. No one has said that the magic won’t last or that he doesn’t deserve to be here. It seems as if pretty much all the media is 100% bought in to Linsanity.
Many NFL analysts at networks all over the country were calling out Tebow as “Not an NFL quarterback,” and “not worthy of being on the field.” While there were some Tebow-lovers at ESPN and NFL Network, the voices of the haters outweighed those of the lovers.
Those are the major similarities and differences between Linsanity and Tebowtime, but here’s some of the little stuff.
The team reaction
Both Lin’s Knick teammates and Tebow’s Bronco teammates are very enthusiastic about the madness. They are completely bought in and are having more fun than ever.
That one thing
Lin’s one issue is turnovers, as his 46 turnovers in eight games are among the worst in the NBA. Tebow’s weak spot is his completion percentage- 46.5%, which was the worst in the NFL this season.
“(Their teammates) seem completely bought in and are having more fun than ever.”
While Tebowmania has taken a break for the offseason, Linsanity is still in full effect, ripping apart opponent defenses with ease, creating nightmares for opposing coaches. Both of these phenomenons have completely engulfed a nation, and it’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before.
By Sam Brief
Linsanity? Tebowmania? Leave a comment, I would love to know which phenomenon is your favorite!