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Updated Feb 21, 2012 - 4:37 pm

Paulie Roundball's brush with Linsanity

New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin celebrates in the final moments of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in New York, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012. The Knicks defeats the Mavericks 104-97. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Jeremy Lin is everywhere. Seen on our TV's. Splashed all over our headlines. Talked about incessantly around our water coolers. Heck, less than a month into his stint as the Knicks' starting point guard, he's already been lampooned on Saturday Night Live. (Note: We still prefer Ray Romano w/Tim Meadows as Stuart Scott or even Joe Piscopo w/the sports coat volume turned up to 11.)

Thing is, Linsanity doesn't even need multi-media platforms. Jeremy Lin is everywhere in another way - he's inside us. At least, we like to think we're a DNA match, right?

Why? Because we all love the underdog. Period. It's the reason Linsanity just generated the Knicks highest TV rating on MSG since 1995. It's the same premise behind March Madness, Miracle on Ice, and a half-dozen Rocky movies.

Part of living vicariously through Linsanity is the belief that we're the next one off the bench. That if given the opportunity we so covet in our own lives, then we would have the same ability to excel.

If memory serves, I was reminded of this notion right about the time I was entering the locker room of Palo Alto High School - now known as Jeremy Lin's alma mater. (The locals call it "Paly").

Two weeks ago, just as the planet Earth was on the verge of going "Linsane in the Membrane," I visited one of my best friends - who became the head basketball coach of the Palo Alto Vikings a couple years ago. (In fact, did you catch Spike Lee recently rocking the #4 PAHS jersey while sitting courtside at Madison Square Garden?)

Now, when I booked my plane ticket to the Bay Area during the NFL season, I had no clue whatsoever about Jeremy Lin and his 4.2 gpa. I had no idea that Lin led Paly to the state title in 2006 by knocking off vaunted Mater Dei (which would be currently favored over ASU by at least 5 pts).

And even though the buzz was in the bleachers as Lin simultaneously schooled the Lakers for 38 points that same night, no one ever believed that just days later the ESPN Outside the Lines crew would be roaming the Paly campus with cameras in tow.

All it took was a single person. A single belief. One person to believe in himself. #Ding.

Which takes us back to my buddy. He won't admit it, but he still blames me for convincing him to buy a 1967 Mustang Fastback back when we were teenagers. As I remind him, if only he would've believed, then he would've been rewarded handsomely after the movie "Gone In 60 Seconds" made it a very desirable model. #Ding.

Okay, seriously, my other takeaway from sitting in the gymnasium and accompanying the coaches that night? Well, with all due apologies to Gatorade, especially their trademark lawyers in charge of protecting brand slogans, we pose the question (in our best Russell Crowe voice from "Gladiator"): Is It In You? Is he in you? Is Jeremy Lin in you?!


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