Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lin and Tebow churn the media machine


A recent poll on ESPN.com has revealed that 84% of fans (as of Tuesday evening) consider the rise of the New York Knicks Jeremy Lin to be greater than that of Tim Tebow.

So out of control is the media's focus on Lin - the namesake of the so-called Linsanity phenomenon - that Sportscenter anchors are even likening him to The Beatles. He surely has little in common with the Fab Four, but like Tebow, Lin is a talented athlete with the ability to inspire his teammates. He's also simply a guy looking for a long-term career in pro sports, who didn't ask for any of this extra attention or analysis. And yet,  the hype continues: GQ worked out some Lin lessons for the GOP; Yahoo claimed Kobe bowed to Lin's star power; and, The Huffington Post reported Harvard's rekindled love of basketball.

Why do we feel so compelled to seek out and elevate the next star of the hour? Are we just at the internet's mercy, fueled by micro-reporting and debate, constantly craving the latest search buzzwords?

Tebow - the web phenomenon - busted search algorithms when he painted John 3:16 on his face in early January. The top search terms that week were "John 3:16", "Tebow", and "Tim Tebow" according to Business Insider. Remember how crazy that period of time was? Was it really less "insane" than what's happening with Lin?

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