Lin-spanics in Sports

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In ten games as the New York Knicks’ starting point guard, Jeremy Lin has gone from nearly being cut by the team to being being called the most important player on a star-studded roster. He’s created more buzz than a Kim Kardashian nip-slip. Even though the Miami Heat dropped a Hulk Hogan sized leg drop on the young Taiwanese player last night, it’s still evident that Lin-sanity, or maybe now just exuber-lin-ce, will be a mainstay in the National Basketball Association.

Lin’s success flies in the face of modern player scouting and analysis. It isn’t an rare sight to see an advance scout for the Los Angeles Lakers in Orange County Hospital measuring post-birth foot sizes and wingspan, looking for the next genetic freak to take over the NBA.

So where exactly did Jeremy Lin come from, and how did no one know that he was a great basketball player? While there are all sorts of rational, pukey, sports-like answers floating around the internet, let’s just go with the version that makes jokes easiest: no one thought a little Asian guy could ball.

There is such a thing as subtle sports racism, and it is alive and well. And if an Asian basketball player could fly so far under the radar, what sports would people be shocked to see a Latino succeed in?

1. Lacrosse

According to the three minutes of research I did by typing “Hispanic lacrosse players” into Google, there are no Hispanic players on any professional LAX teams. This unscientific study proves a couple of things. First, Latinos are not stupid and are only willing to play the insane, concussion laden sports that Caucasians invent if there are giant piles of cash involved. Secondly, there are professional LAX teams!

2. Cricket

This sport is actually really popular among other brown people, but hasn’t quite hit the Latin market. There is a natural fit with the wonderful display of mustaches that both Latins and Indians love so much. For some reason a country is either playing soccer or cricket, like picking sides on Team Jacob or Team Edward.

3. Biathlon

In and of itself this sport is ridiculous. A person is literally in competition with their own pulse, while skiing and shooting stuff. This sport was born out of the “let’s randomly throw two things together and call it a sport” school of thought. Other such sports include skateboard underwater polo, jetski Frisbee golf, and pogo archery.

4. Any sport involving snow and/or skis

Thinking about it, what would any Latin person be doing competing in anything involving snow? Do Latins even succeed in any cold weather event? You can be sure that there is no such thing as the El Salvadorian Polar Bear Club. Not to mention, no Latino could ever out do the Jamaican bobsled team as cold weather sports surprises. Ever.

5. Show Jumping

With all the success that really tiny Hispanics have as jockeys, it wouldn’t be that far a reach for them to succeed as Show Jumpers. Maybe it’s the weird rules where sometimes it’s a judged sport, sometimes it’s a race, or who knows. Also, the New York Post could have a field day running headlines about Latinos jumping over fences. Which brings us to…

6. Pole-vaulting

The practical applications of excelling in pole vaulting are nearly limitless. Imagine how easy it would be to get on a roof, climb a tree, change a street light’s bulb, jump over an out of control car, sneak in through an upstairs window, and basically any action requiring reaching great heights. Truthfully, Latin countries have done fairly well as pole vaulters, but nothing beats the mental image of Pancho Villa vaulting ten feet in the air, sombrero, mustache, pancho flapping in the wind, and then landing on the mats below with the grace of a swan only to spring to his feet shooting his six-guns in the air in victory. It would be glorious.