THE UNDERDOG ISSUE
This month, something happened to me that’s never, ever happened in my 24 years of existence: I watched not just one, but several professional sports games, voluntarily, from start to finish. Yes, I’m a victim of the Jeremy Lin fever (better known as Linsanity) that’s swept America.
Mochi has been following Jeremy since his graduation from Harvard—what’s not to like about the kid? He’s smart, he’s great at sports, and he was being touted as an Asian kid to watch out for in the NBA drafts—when drafted, he became the first-ever American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent in the league, and the fourth-ever Asian American. And I cheered when he got picked up by his hometown team, the Golden State Warriors. But I never tuned in to games—he rarely played and let’s face it, I am just not a sports fan by nature.
But the somewhat accidental discovery of Jeremy as a sports star, shaking up the Knicks and giving New Yorkers something to hope for, has me hooked. Even without the Asian American aspect, this would be an incredible underdog story. But add in the fact that he is Asian, a rare face in the sea of black and white in professional basketball, and this is an incredible thing for Asian Americans everywhere who continue to find themselves represented in areas that were previously unheard of. Yes, I’m kind of over the Lin puns and the Asian jokes (like signs that say, “Who says Asians can’t drive?”—cute, but a little racist, even if an Asian is holding it up), but I can’t help but smile when I think about the fact that the hopes of an entire state, as well as Asian American sports fans around the world, are pinned on this humble hero.
That’s why we’ve decided to dedicate this issue—the Underdog issue—to Jeremy. One sports fan talks about what the Linsanity phenomenon means to him, and why everyone he knows sees a bit of themselves in Jeremy. When Jeremy first moved to New York, he lived on his brother’s couch. It’s not an unlikely story (unless you’re now a huge NBA star): in this issue, Blog Editor Malia chronicles her move to the big city to follow her dreams, which starts with, yes, sleeping on a couch. We’re also featuring entertainers that have gained fame by unlikely means (Clara Chung and The Jubilee Projectthrough YouTube, Asiatix via social media), and become stars in their own rights. And, for a little inspiration in your everyday life, try out some of our winter beauty tips and easy healthy resolutions. I’ve already started following some of them—taking up a body combat class at my gym, for instance. And hey, if I go to a sports bar after the class to eat fries and watch Jeremy play, it still counts, right?