Today in sports: The new Knicks point guard — and Harvard alum — is a New York sports folk hero after just two starts, more talk that Peyton Manning's arm is shot, and the New York Observer publisher is one of the nine finalists to land the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Second-year New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin is attracting Benedict Cumberbatch-levels of buzz after scoring more than 20 points in back-to-back New York wins. Lin played college ball at Harvard, didn't get drafted, and has been a bench warmer for most of his first two seasons in the league: Even if he was just average, New York basketball fans would be fated to fall hopelessly and irreversibly in love with him. The fact that he's looked good — really good — has sent fans scrambling to see who can produce the most hyperbolic YouTube tribute to the new Knicks sensation. YouTube user @random2g offers a representative sample of what Linmania has already caused computer-savvy Knicks fans to do. [The Sports Section and Grantland]
New York Observer publisher Jared Kushner is reportedly one of the nine finalists who might acquire the Los Angeles Dodgers. Even if he doesn't get the team, Kushner should get credit for getting this far in the process without anyone in baseball or New York media circles mentioning him as a possible buyer, not even in a hypothetical, Sliding Doors parallel-reality sense. [The Los Angeles Times]
An NFL source is telling Miami Herald NFL reporter Armando Selguero that Peyton Manning's arm strength has declined "as much as 40 percent as a result of the weakened triceps muscles" following three neck surgeries in 20 months. The logical follow-up question, of course, is "What does that even mean?" Well, it means someone – possibly a member of the Indianapolis Colts front office, but probably connected with some other franchise — has either seen or knows someone who has seen Peyton Manning throw a football in the last six weeks and doesn't like what they see. But instead of saying his arm is shot, like a regular person, they're going to tell you just how shot it could — maybe! — be. That combination of the highly specific and sweepingly vague is what puts food on a scout's table. [The Miami Herald]
The Big East, having tried to entice every school in the country with a football program except the University of Memphis to join the conference, has finally given up and started talking to the University of Memphis about possibly joining up. If we were Memphis, we would say no, because it would foil the Big East's dream of reinventing itself as Conference USA circa 1998. [ESPN]
Running back Ricky Williams has told the Baltimore Ravens he's going to retire. If he's serious this time — and the Ravens don't think he is — it will be the end of a textured career that's included premature retirement, copious amounts of marijuana, a year spent in exile playing in the Canadian Football League, and finally, professional redemption courtesy of Bill Parcells. [Baltimore Sun]