Sunday, February 12, 2012

Do Good Guys Wear Orange and Blue?


Tim Tebow played for the University of Florida, and then continued "rockin' the orange and blue" as a Denver Bronco.  We all know about Tebow Time, "tebowing", and the whole question of "does God care about football games?"  (Our answer to this question is "of course God cares about football, basketball, and sports because he has kids on every team.")

And now we have Jeremy Lin, playing in orange and blue, for the New York Knicks. Is the wearing orange and blue coincidental? Probably, but do you really believe that it is a coincidence that we are witnessing another "improbable" victory story of a player who most thought couldn't play the game then out of nowhere becomes a star? And that that player is also a devout Christian?  We don't think so. 

Below is an excerpt from Michael Luo's  story in the New York Times describing his pride in seeing a fellow Chinese-American and Christian become a star.  You can read the full story here.
Yes, Linsanity. 

But it also represented much more than that, at least to me. 

Like Lin, I’m a Harvard graduate, albeit more than a decade ahead of him, and a second-generation Chinese-American. I’m also a fellow believer, one of those every-Sunday-worshiping, try-to-read-the-Bible-and-pray types, who agreed with Lin when he said to reporters after the Jazz game, “God works in mysterious and miraculous ways.” 

Being a believer can mean different things in different circles. In a lot of the ones Lin and I have traveled, it can mean, essentially, you are a bit of a weirdo, or can make you an object of scorn. 

For me, as an Asian-American, the chants of “M.V.P.!” raining down on Lin at the Garden embody a surreal, Jackie Robinson-like moment. Just as meaningful to me as a Christian, however, is the way the broadcasters have hailed Lin as not just the “Harvard hero” but the “humble Harvard grad.” His teammates appear just as overjoyed at his success as he was. Both seem to be testaments to his character. [...]

Last season, I followed closely as Lin went undrafted but later signed with the Golden State Warriors. He played sparingly and was cut in December. He landed briefly in Houston but was cut again. Finally, he joined the Knicks but had mostly sat on the bench. Now he is suddenly the shining star of New York.

In the midst of his stellar run last week, I couldn’t help but reflect on Lin’s journey. A Bible verse that he has cited as a favorite came to mind, encouraging believers that “suffering produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us.”

And don't be surprised if a similar athlete emerges in Major League Baseball this summer.  And if it just so happens to be with the Mets or the Lions, then we will know for sure that good guys "wear orange and blue."

Photo: The Gothamist