There is a cultural phenomenon larger than basketball happening at Madison Square Garden. And those of us who have been waiting since the early 70's for an NBA championship probably care less about the 'hashtag' #Linsanity conversation now percolating all over the internet... well unless you read Deadspin. The evil journalists over at the iconic Sports Illustrated magazine have stumbled into a "controversy" over their attempt at hijacking Twitter in the social world on this week's cover. Oops? Who wants the wrath of Deadspin thrust down on them? Unless you work in the PR department for the magazine, perhaps?
It's the grand old magazine's way of joining the conversation around "Lin Mania" in the wild west of the social media terrain. Oh, the drama of it! While Jeremy has no doubt drawn some attention because of his Asian ethnicity far beyond the court, and on to my Twitter feed at a rate I've haven't witnessed ever, I could care less.
The Knicks seems like they may have a team worth watching. While I'm sure writing that will curse their luck, real Knicks fans don't care about anything other than winning. For sports fans across the country, apparently the SI cover is sacred territory, and introducing a hashtag there is not endearing those who love a good old-fashioned brick-and-mortar publication that is still revered and loved.
And here collide the worlds of the old media and new media, or so some say. If Deadspin wants to roast me for asking, is it really such a big deal?... PLEASE do. I'd like the extra attention for my blog here! Think Sports Illustrated, who needs to attract younger readers, may have been thinking the same? Or, just integrating a little social magic because it's smart to do while your circulation could use some new young readers?
Lin isn't only lighting up Twitter and the media center of the world; he's on fire on all of social media. You know why? He's young. He's an underdog. And because the new landscape of coverage hits the magic sweet spot where old world media and social media multiply off each other. Play or perish. Some brands will discover this the hard way. Not the Knicks!
While we all know he was sleeping on his brother's couch a month ago, what about his numbers? My son was following Jeremy a year ago when he had a few thousand followers. Now, he has over 400,000. With 650,000 "likes" on Facebook and a Klout score of 82, you've got a viral phenomenon case study blossoming before your eyes.
Jeremy has been mentioned on Twitter almost 200,000 times in a fast-moving flash! If you combine "Lin," "Linsanity,""Lin for the Win," "Linferno," "Linsane," "ThrillLin" and "Linderella," you have numbers that would make a New York Times bestseller overnight!
Old world. New world. Love them both. And @JLin7 is giving generations of Knicks fans a reason to watch basketball again! But either way, I'm still watching my favorite team play!
Follow Eric Yaverbaum on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RealYaverbaum