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Chink In The Stands, An Asian American Fan’s Notes

February 27th, 2012 | 28 comments | Posted by Jen

I sat down to write about the fallout that’s ensued since ESPN editor Anthony Federico wrote that “Chink In The Armor” headline a little over a week ago, and I ended up with a bunch of stories about myself. In some ways though, I think these notes better articulate my frustration and anger over many of the conversations that have taken place about Jeremy Lin with regard to race than explicit words to that effect would have. Or maybe I just really like talking about myself.

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For most of my life, I’ve been a sports fan. I was born and raised in Texas, so it was mandatory. More to the point, I was born and raised Chinese American in Texas. I couldn’t look like my peers, I couldn’t be accepted as an equal by many of my peers, but I could root for the same teams as my peers. And somewhere deep down, I probably figured that if I could demonstrate the same devotion to the idols of my peers, they would eventually come around to the idea that I wasn’t all that different from them, and perhaps even accept me as one of their own.

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My father arrived in College Station, Texas from Taiwan in 1965 on a student visa. Continue reading Chink In The Stands, An Asian American Fan’s Notes

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Today Is The Day Of The Death Of Dreams

July 8th, 2011 | 6 comments | Posted by Jen

A little part of me died today when two things came to an end: the space shuttle program, and the NBA career of Yao Ming.

For a Chinese American girl who grew up in Houston, had a dad who worked for NASA, and who watched basketball religiously–I first developed a taste for the game at church camp, in fact, the summer of ’86, when a big-screen TV got rolled out after evening services so we could watch the NBA Finals, Rockets versus Celtics–today’s a day of mourning.

In my grief, I recognize a weird symmetry to both of these events happening on the same day. The space shuttle Atlantis takes final flight, Yao’s grounded by injuries to his feet and ankles. It’s a perfect, Greek symmetry: Atlantis sank into the ocean, Achilles had a heel.

As a physicist’s daughter, I suppose I should know that gravity always wins, but it’s easy to forget about the physics of things when you witness something happen in your lifetime that you’d wished for and dreamed of but never thought would come true.

Continue reading DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Today Is The Day Of The Death Of Dreams

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DISGWITTER OF THE WEAK! The Yao Ming “Made In China” Meme

December 17th, 2010 | 6 comments | Posted by Jen

Yao Ming has suffered yet another foot injury that could sideline him for the rest of the season and has some people wondering if this doesn’t signal the end of his NBA career.

So what do you do when the career of one of the NBA’s good guys is in jeopardy?  Cue the Yao Ming-Made In China jokes!

Is this meme “racist or stereotypical”?  Good question, “Joey”!

And the answer is: No! It’s racist and stereotypical!  Stay classy, Tweeps.

[NY Times: Yao Ming's Fragile Feet Could End Career]

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BIRTHDAY CELEBRASIAN! Yao Ming

September 10th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen


Happy birthday to Yao Ming, who turns 29 Saturday! Our birthday wish for the 7’6″ Rockets center is undoubtedly the same as his own–to heal that foot in a hurry so that he can return to the hardcourt sometime next season.

Because if we have to wait a whole other year to see one of the NBA’s true good guys play basketball again, it’s gonna make us cry like little girls (not to mention abandon the sport and all the primadouches playing it for something ludicrous like…hockey).


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SPORTS ILLUSTRASIAN: A Conversasian with My Hardass Asian Mama

May 7th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Transcript of the phone conversation I had with my Hardass Asian Mama the other night:

H.A.M.: Jen, I need to talk to you about something important.

JEN: Uh, okay, but I kinda need to go…[internal monologue: Oh shit, what the fuck did I do now?]

H.A.M.: It’s about–

JEN: [The fact that I haven't made millions despite my Ivy League education that you paid for, and am therefore kind of a failure? Or that time I had sex in your house years ago and you overheard? *dies* Or the fact that I haven't yet given you a grandchild, which also means I'm kind of a failure?]

H.A.M.: It’s about that Lady in Purple.


JEN: Oooooh! Oh yeah! That lady! Our Jack Nicholson! Great! What about her? [Hallelujah! Praise Jesus! Painfully awkward conversation averted!]

H.A.M.: I don’t think she’s a lady. I mean, how do you know she’s a lady?

JEN: Uh, um, I don’t know. I just assumed she was. I think I’ve seen her wear earrings before.

H.A.M.: Huh.

JEN: I mean, I dunno, maybe she’s not a lady?

H.A.M.: You know, Chiang Kai-shek had a granddaughter or some relation who liked to dress like a man. Maybe she’s Chiang Kai-shek’s granddaughter.

JEN: Wow. Weird.

H.A.M.: Yeah, weird. So, about that time you had sex in my house…

Okay, so that last part is made-up, but in related news (not to sex in my parents’ house, but to the Maybe-Lady in Purple)…the Lakers evened up the series with the Rockets last night, 111-98. Boo.

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SPORTS ILLUSTRASIAN: Our Jack Nicholson

May 5th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

I don’t really watch basketball much anymore. The timing of its season is all wrong, sandwiched between football and baseball. Plus I think the refs have too much control over the game. But I’m making an exception for the Rockets-Lakers series (Rockets took Game 1 last night–Yaoooo!), because almost nothing would make me happier than seeing my childhood hometown team crush the team that happens, unfortunately, to play in my grown-up hometown. (I know that’s convoluted, but there’s no way you’re going to get me to say “my grown-up hometown team” about the Lakers; I side with the sad sack Clippers, anyway.)

Following this semifinal series also means I get to see plenty of one of my favorite L.A. characters, Our Jack Nicholson, aka the Asian Lady Superfan who always sits courtside at Laker games.

Jack Nicholson, Bruce Willis, and Our Jack Nicholson

Again, who the hell is this lady? No one seems to know, but several people on the interwebz seem convinced she’s in a triad, and it’s rumored that she gets chauffeured around town in a Maybach. I’m totally dying to see her closet, which I imagine is only filled with purple and gold-colored clothes. Does she ever wear, like, green, I wonder? What’s her beverage of choice at the Staples Center? Is she gay, straight, or unicorn?

The point is, Asian Lady Superfan, YOU FASCINATE ME. Hit me up on Twitter and let’s talk! Please, please, pretty please, I’m not ashamed to beg.

(Okay, I’m, like, really ashamed to beg a diehard Laker fan, but whatever, I can get over that, if you give us an exclusive and the Lakers go down in, say, 5.)

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Oh It’s a Transformasian, Alright

December 9th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

By now, you’ve probably heard of the Yao Ming Transformer. It’s a plastic basketball that turns a la Optimus Prime into the Rockets center.


I poked around to see where you could buy the Yao Ming Transformer but came up with nothing. I even had my mom translate the site where the toy was originally found, but all it said was, “Look, Yao is changing shape.”

And also, “Look, Yao is changing into an Italian Stallion.”


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SPORTS ILLUSTRASIAN: Yao Ming-lug-glug-glug

October 6th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Seen last week on Drunk Athlete–Yao Ming tying one on at a wedding:




There’s something so comforting about seeing perfect, untouchable Yao behave like the rest of us, don’tcha think?

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SPORTS ILLUSTRASIAN: Ron Artest "Still Ghetto"

August 1st, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen


This week, a potential trade between the Houston Rockets and the Sac o’ Shit Kings was announced that would send Ron Artest to my hometown team. In reaction, Yao told the Houston Chronicle that he was optimistic but that he hoped “(Artest’s) not fighting anymore and going after a guy in the stands.” Artest then responded to Yao’s comments in the Sacramento Bee:

“I understand what Yao said, but I’m still ghetto,” Artest said. “That’s not going to change. I’m never going to change my culture. Yao has played with a lot of black players, but I don’t think he’s ever played with a black player that really represents his culture as much as I represent my culture. Once Yao Ming gets to know me, he’ll understand what I’m about.

If you go back to the brawl, that’s a culture issue right there. Somebody was disrespecting me, so he’s got to understand where I’m coming from. People that know me know that Ron Artest never changed.”

In this day and age of NBA players meticulously cultivating their image to appeal to advertisers and fans, I find Artest’s statement nothing short of incredible. Commissioner David Stern, who’s spearheaded efforts in the NBA to essentially de-ghettoize the league–whether it’s with a ludicrous dress code or wanting to impose gun restrictions on players–has got to be p-issed! And anything that pisses off Big Brother pants splooger David Stern is alright by me.

Except talking about yourself in the third person.

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SPORTS ILLUSTRASIAN: Love and Rockets

March 17th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Early Arrivals

True story: my mom pushed up my birth date so that she could attend my dad’s PhD ceremony. She told a little white lie about being in labor to our family doctor, was admitted to the hospital, and I was induced shortly thereafter, weighing in at a healthy 7+ pounds. A week of so later, I was tucked in the crook of her arm, watching my dad glide across a stage in a cap and gown, christened at the start into the religion of higher learning.

I couldn’t help thinking of this story when I heard that Daisuke Matsuzaka and his wife Tomoyo inserted Baby Dice, a boy weighing 6 pounds, 10 ounces, into the starting lineup on Saturday. Congratulasians, Matsuzakas!

The baby’s original due date had been March 19, the day the Red Sox fly to Tokyo for their season opener against the A’s. “(I)f Matsuzaka’s new baby interferes with the team’s trip to Japan,” MLB.com reported, and with Beckett and Schilling injured, the team would have started Jon Lester in the first game. With all due respect to Honorasian Jon Lester…Jon Lester?!? But, fortunately for Red Sox Nasian, Baby Dice came early, Daddy Dice was named the opening day starter this morning, and all of Japan’s chowderheads heaved a huge sigh of relief.

Was it killer timing? Divine intervention from the baseball gods? I think I’m going to have to consult Moms on this one.

“I’m Alive, Uh Uh, So Alive”

Dude. I watched so much b-ball this weekend, I feel like my eyes are still dribbling. Without a doubt, the most exciting game for me was watching the Houston Rockets take down the L.A. Fakers. By beating L.A., with whom they were tied for first place in the Western Conference, the Rockets also extended their winning streak to 22-0, 10-0 sans Yao, who’s out for the season with a foot fracture. This is the second-longest streak in NBA history. You may remember that I predicted the Rockets, who were in 10th place when Yao got injured, would fall apart without him. Color me corrected! Tomorrow night, Houston faces the Boston Celtics and the best record in the NBA. We will rock you, KG!!!

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Time for Wedding Invitasians!

June 26th, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Looks like Yao Ming and his longtime sweetheart Ye Li (also a professional baller) will wed in August after ten years of dating. The couple has promised a private family ceremony in Shanghai, contrary to popular buzz rumors that the ceremony would be televised live or that Olympic hurdler Liu Xiang would MC the thing (huh???).

AWWWWWWWWWWWWW. This is so cute, I want to puke.

Oh wait, I just imagined what their baby will look like!!!


OHHHH boy. Now I really want to puke.

CONGRATULASIANS!!! Please invite us to the wedding!

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I Could Marry Either Guy in This Photo

April 7th, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Both Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming sat out last night’s game against the Trailblazers because of back injuries.


Get well soon, guys! Playoff basketball is right around the corner!

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