THE MECCA, NY – Like a Supernova literally outshining everything in his galaxy, Jeremy Lin exploded onto the New York stage three years ago this month. His arrival came with absolutely no fanfare or expectations whatsoever. After first having tried the immortal Tony Douglas (Falcons WR Harry’s little brother) ancient Mike Bibby and the recently jettisoned Iman Shumpert at point guard, the Knicks had no one to turn to until Baron Davis would be ready to play. (insert joke right there) With few options, the Knicks signed the Asian American kid out of Harvard to play in a backup role.
Before long though, it became obvious that Lin represented the Knicks’ best option at the point. He distributed the ball like a real lead guard should. He got everyone involved-all of the legends from that 2011-2012 Knicks squad. JR Smith, Steve Novak, Tyson Chanler, Landry Fields and even Jared Jeffries! LINSANITY had been born! From game winning daggers to dazzling passes to elevating the play of his teammates, Lin was a sensation. He instantly became must see TV.
Lin’s time with the Knicks was the most exciting time for fans since Bernard King‘s 60 point show on Christmas Day 1984. Lin’s celebrity was global. His #17 jersey flew off shelves all over the world. He was a sensation. And then he wasn’t. I was heartbroken when the Knicks (wisely?) let him walk to Houston after that one season here in New York. Lin’s time in New York was memorable, but he wasn’t the first professional athlete to explode on the scene and capture the imaginations of fans everywhere for a brief brief time.
Coinciding with our country’s Bicentennial celebration was the arrival of Mark “the Bird” Fidrych in Detroit in 1976. He talked to himself, the ball, and everyone else. He manicured his mound by hand to sculpt his workplace to his exact liking. Seemingly coming out of nowhere, Fidrych became a Baseball sensation and the nation stopped to watch every time he took the mound that Summer for the Tigers.
Called up to replace an injured Don Mattingly in 1990, Kevin Maas was a big lefty slugger who homered 12 times before his 100th AB that season. He finished his rookie year with 23 Homers, and the promise of the next great Yankee. He had matinee idol looks, a sweet lefty stroke made for the short Yankee Stadium right field porch and a seemingly limitless future. The league figured Maas out by the following season though and wound up hitting just 21 more dingers over his remaining 3 plus years in the big leagues.
Which Green Bay Packers QB holds the team record for most 4th Quarter comebacks in a season, and which Pack QB led his team to winning drives in 7 consecutive games in the same season? If you guessed Hall of Famer Bart Starr of the great Lombardi teams in the 60s you’d be wrong. If you guessed soon to be Hall of Famer Brett Favre or even future HOF and current GB signal caller Aaron Rodgers – those guesses would be incorrect as well. The correct answer is Don Majkowski, who had a dream season while leading Green Bay in 1989. The “Majik Man” led his team to 10 wins in ’89 after they had dropped 10 the previous year. The MVP of the league that year was Joe Montana. Majkowski was runner up.
The 1980 American League Rookie of the Year was the Cleveland Indians’ Joe Charboneau. “Super Joe” slugged 23 bombs that year, and opened beer bottles with his eye socket. He flamed out quickly after a back injury and was done for good by 1984.
Have I left anyone out? Tell me your Supernovas and your recollection of these one hit wonders.
Thanks for reading and come back tomorrow for Dr. Diz.