In the age-old debate on the greatest sports movie of all-time, I can settle the argument right here. Right now.
The greatest, most meaningful sports movie of all-time is HOOSIERS.
Yup, HOOSIERS, absolutely. There’s no room left for debate. In the immortal words of Chick Hearn: “This debate is in the refrigerator! The door’s closed, the lights are out, the eggs are cooling, the butter’s getting hard, and the Jell-O is jiggling.”
RUDY still holds a special place in my heart.
But I refuse to give top honors to Notre Dame while the BCS gives t hem special favoritism.
Sure, I really enjoyed THE BLINDSIDE.
But that was more about education, than it was about an actual football game.
For anyone who claims that FIELD OF DREAMS is the best, I’m sure those are the same people who find early June MLB games to be meaningful.
Aside from the first time the players emerge from the cornfields, and the climax scene when Kevin Costner gets to play catch with his dad, the movie and plot are a bit overrated. Overrated—just like the plot in FORREST GUMP. (But I’ll save that for a future Flaming Bag of Poo blog post!)
There is an obvious reason why HOOSIERS generates more of an emotional impact in each of us. It’s because the players more closely resemble how we look at ourselves as underdogs in life. Gene Hackman isn’t coaching a team with Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.
Nope, Gene Hackman is coaching players like Jimmy Chitwood and Jeremy Lin.
This week, there are more Americans who know about Jeremy Lin than Americans who know which Republican candidate won the Missouri primary and Minnesota & Colorado caucuses earlier in the week.
Heck, there are more American who know that Jeremy Lin was undrafted out of Harvard, than Americans who know the difference between a “primary” and a “caucus”!
LIN-sanity has taken over ESPN and Twitter. Thus, LIN-sanity has taken over the world.
Sorry, Vince Carter, but there must have been an expiration on your nickname at the U.S. Patent Office.
With the combined NBA contracts equal to the Gross National Product of Taiwan, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire have sat a lot longer than a New York minute this week. Meanwhile, all end-of-the-bench Asian-American guard Jeremy Lin did was lead the New York Knicks on a 5-game winning streak.
Lin has single-handedly saved New York in the same way that Jimmy Chitwood became a household name in the state of Indiana.
Admit it. You know you got chills when his Hickory teammates veto Gene Hackman’s final play call in the huddle, so that Jimmy Chitwood could interject in his no-nonsense way: “I’ll make it.”
Like Jimmy Chitwood, Jeremy Lin is normally a young man of very few words. He would just as soon let his play do the talking. But then he has all those cameras and microphones in his face every moment when he isn’t sleeping on his brother’s Manhattan apartment sofa.
Jeremy Lin has made it in New York.
That’s why Jeremy Lin is really bad for the NBA! Really, really bad for all professional sports!!! Really, really, really bad for society today!!!!!
Here is the damage that Jeremy Lin is inflicting on America’s treasured belief system.
1. Asian-Americans aren’t just smart; they can actually be athletic, too. And we’re not talking about ping pong, badminton, or women’s figure skating. We’re talking about sports that people actually watch. (source: ESPN)
2. Asian-American athletes don’t all need interpreters. Even before he was ever a sensation with the Knicks, Golden State Warriors, or Harvard Crimson, Jeremy Lin had mastered English and social media without sounding like Long Duck Dong.
3. Asian-American ball players aren’t afraid to challenge taller shot-blockers. Not every Asian kid in gym class has to be the designated three-point shooter. Jeremy Lin is adept at pick-and-rolls, layups, and the mid-range jumper.
4. You really do need a Harvard degree to get ahead. No NCAA Division I program offered Jeremy Lin a basketball scholarship out of high school—despite captaining Palo A lto High School to a win in the California State championships. Only Harvard and Brown would offer Jeremy the chance to start. So if you want your child to succeed, send him to this little tiny school named Harvard, where the total 2011-2012 cost of attending college without financial aid is $36,305 for tuition and $52,652 for tuition, room, board and fees combined.
5. Hype is overrated. In the age of internet, Jeremy Lin has become the toast to the number one media market in the world. He could have easily told all his previous naysayers “I told you so.” But he remains the consummate team player and the kind of son that would make any mother proud. And yet, he seems to get better and better under the crush of the spotlight.
6. Hard work, perseverance, and a good attitude still count for something. Even when they aren’t part of the 1%.
The world doesn’t want more Jeremy Lin’s. Why? Because if we had more of him, we’d never recognize that we have too few examples like Jeremy Lin. Asian-American, pro basketball player or not.
If I were Jeremy Lin, I’d find it insulting if America suddenly makes me the poster boy for Asian-American underdogs.
Race should have nothing to do with it. When Jeremy Lin looks in the mirror, he sees himself. Maybe with a little bit of Jimmy Chitwood’s “Aw, shucks” gaze, too.
Frankly, when Flaming Bag of Poo looks in the mirror, I see myself as Gene Hackman.