Friday, February 24, 2012

America's infatuation with deviation.

We Americans love us an oddball.

We exalt the exotic, we fancy the freaky, we petition the peculiar.

Why else would this cornflake shaped like Illinois...

have been sold on eBay for over thirteen hundred dollars back in 2008?

It's because we love anomalies—always have. And Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks is just the guy to fit comfortably and without the aid of supplemental lubrication right into the heart of America's alomalistic wheelehouse.

You see, Mr. Lin is the first American of Chinese descent to play in the National Basketball Association. Not only that, he received no athletic scholarship offers out of high school, went undrafted after graduating from Harvard in 2010 and was waived by two NBA teams.

New York signed Lin out of desperation to replace an injured player, where he quickly became a solid offensive contributor. But it wasn't until early February, when he began playing significant minutes, that "Linsanity" began. And oh, did it.

Through his first five starts, Lin averaged twenty-seven points per game and lead the Knicks on a seven-game winning streak. Now, fully ensconced as a cult phenomenon, the six-foot, three-inch, two-hundred pound anomaly has graced two consecutive covers of Sports Illustrated and claims the best selling NBA replica jersey since February 4.

The athletic world is an aberrational breeding ground; we celebrate those who defy the odds to achieve success at the highest level. Arthur Ashe dominated a sport which largely excluded his race due to socioeconomic conditions and institutionalized racism. Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues enjoyed fourteen solid seasons in professional basketball despite standing eye-to-eye with my grandma at five feet, three inches.

And who can forget the poster children of the word anomaly: the 1980 United States Olympic Hockey Team?

It's not always, however, the monumental aberrations that we seek. We crave the smaller departures from normalcy as well. Although I wouldn't have even noticed an Illinois-shaped cornflake prior to its swift journey down my pie hole, I always find time to appreciate corn dogs with noses:


An image of Jesus on a grilled cheese:

or Halle Berry's face in some beef stroganoff Hamburger Helper:

Other anomalies are impossible to detect, such as someone in the elevator who genuinely cares how your weekend was or a Republican with an IQ greater than that of a burlap moo moo.

And I'm still waiting for a weight loss plan which guarantees you'll only keep the weight off for three weeks.

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