New York sports have history. Not all of it is good or bad, but lately much of it clouded by controversy. Stars like A-Rod and Santonio Holmes hog headlines with their antics. Is it just part of the deal, or can young men like Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin change it?
Tebow going to New York Jets is about more than Mark Sanchez
All anyone talks about when mentioning Tebow joining the New York Jets is how long it will take him to either ruin or takeover for Mark Sanchez. Fans hope their devout Christian hero does the same thing he did with the Denver Broncos. In fact his impact on sports in general has gained a following even cults don't enjoy. In order to celebrate the Easter holiday, Tim Tebow agreed to speak in Georgetown, Texas at a church sermon. As many as 30,000 people expect to show up to hear his 20-minute speech. That is the power of Tebowmania. Some might call the Jets insane for bringing that kind of media focus on an already floundered team, but history shows that Tebow is anything but a locker room problem. On the contrary, before he took over in Denver the Broncos were off to a miserable start last season. After he stepped in, his natural leadership and effort brought the team together and they went on to a division title. Tebow cares more about unity and wins than who starts. That's something a star-driven city like New York doesn't see often enough.
Lin was a breath of fresh air for NBA and the selfish New York Knicks
Tebow isn't the only athlete who brings those same values to America's biggest city. Jeremy Lin joined the New York Knicks just in the hope of getting a chance to play. He made a roster filled, then, with a bunch of players the experts labeled as "selfish." When Lin stepped in he changed the culture overnight, saved the Knicks' season and gained an NBA following of his own before a knee injury put his Cinderella season in doubt. His story is so popular that company has contacted Hollywood about a Linsanity movie documentary about Lin's journey from undrafted point guard to Big Apple sensation. Yet, like Tebow, the Taiwanese-American hasn't let the attention go to his head. He continues to rely on his faith and wants his fans to understand how grateful he is that New York gave him a chance. That kind of humility doesn't exist with many New York athletes, at least not most of those who appear in the headlines.
Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin now share a link beyond their stories of unexpected success. As co-members of the New York sports world, they find themselves playing with some of the best in the nation (Mark Sanchez excluded). However, perhaps it's their humble ways and team spirit that has the biggest impact when it's over. The NFL, NBA, New York Jets and New York Knicks all should feel lucky for it.