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Updated Feb 21, 2012 - 11:37 pm

Paulie Roundball’s brush with Linsanity

Jeremy Lin is everywhere. Seen on our TV’s. Splashed all
over our headlines. Talked about incessantly around our
water coolers. Heck, less than a month into his stint as
the Knicks’ starting point guard, he’s already been
lampooned on Saturday Night Live. (Note: We still prefer
Ray Romano w/Tim Meadows as Stuart Scott or even Joe
Piscopo w/the sports coat volume turned up to 11.)

Thing is, Linsanity doesn’t even need multi-media
platforms. Jeremy Lin is everywhere in another way – he’s
inside us. At least, we like to think we’re a DNA match,
right?

Why? Because we all love the underdog. Period. It’s the
reason Linsanity just generated the Knicks highest TV
rating on MSG since 1995. It’s the same premise behind
March Madness, Miracle on Ice, and a half-dozen Rocky
movies.

Part of living vicariously through Linsanity is the belief
that we’re the next one off the bench. That if given the
opportunity we so covet in our own lives, then we would
have the same ability to excel.

If memory serves, I was reminded of this notion right
about the time I was entering the locker room of Palo Alto
High School – now known as Jeremy Lin’s alma mater. (The
locals call it “Paly”).

Two weeks ago, just as the planet Earth was on the verge
of going “Linsane in the Membrane,” I visited one of my
best friends – who became the head basketball coach of the
Palo Alto Vikings a couple years ago. (In fact, did you
catch Spike Lee recently rocking the #4 PAHS jersey while
sitting courtside at Madison Square Garden?)

Now, when I booked my plane ticket to the Bay Area during
the NFL season, I had no clue whatsoever about Jeremy Lin
and his 4.2 gpa. I had no idea that Lin led Paly to the
state title in 2006 by knocking off vaunted Mater Dei
(which would be currently favored over ASU by at least 5
pts).

And even though the buzz was in the bleachers as Lin
simultaneously schooled the Lakers for 38 points that same
night, no one ever believed that just days later the ESPN
Outside the Lines crew would be roaming the Paly campus
with cameras in tow.

All it took was a single person. A single belief. One
person to believe in himself. #Ding.

Which takes us back to my buddy. He won’t admit it, but
he still blames me for convincing him to buy a 1967
Mustang Fastback back when we were teenagers. As I remind
him, if only he would’ve believed, then he would’ve been
rewarded handsomely after the movie “Gone In 60 Seconds”
made it a very desirable model. #Ding.

Okay, seriously, my other takeaway from sitting in the
gymnasium and accompanying the coaches that night? Well,
with all due apologies to Gatorade, especially their
trademark lawyers in charge of protecting brand slogans,
we pose the question (in our best Russell Crowe voice from
“Gladiator”): Is It In You? Is he in you? Is Jeremy Lin
in you?!

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