There is no better gauge to determine if the hype of an Asian athlete in the U.S. has reached critical mass than my mother-in-law, who is all Thai and maybe a little bit crazy (love you, Annie!). She keeps up with sports just enough to grasp the big headlines, and Jeremy Lin has been stealing them all lately.
“Linsanity” is all the rage. It doesn’t matter that my in-laws are from Thailand and the Knicks point guard is of Taiwanese descent. My mother-in-law proudly wears his success – 136 points in his first five starts – as a badge of honor, much in the same way she’s done for Tiger Woods and Ichiro Suzuki.
Chances are, she might have even heard Phoenix rapper Mega Ran’s “Jeremy Lin Rap,” an ode not just to the player himself but to the fruits of hard work and dedication, the very tenets that Ran no doubt emphasized in his days as a teacher.
Ran dropped the SEO-friendly track before Linsanity really took off, and it was picked up for a segment on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and mentioned in an New York Times article. Slate also just ranked it as the best Lin-related tribute: “The repetitive synth beat and skittering drums aren’t going to win Ran five mics from The Source, but they set an appropriately triumphal score for what’s generally an uplifting rap about Lin’s biography and work ethic.”