Posts Tagged ‘Landry Fields’

Linsanity and #RevengeOfTheNerds

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Landry and Jeremy prove that it's hip to be square.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are that you’ve heard of NBA player Jeremy Lin and his meteoric rise to stardom.  Failing to acquire athletic scholarships, Lin attended Harvard on the basis of academic merit.  Looked over in the 2010 draft, Lin has ultimately become the “the first NBA player to score at least 20 points and have seven assists in each of his first five starts.”

“I need to get a Jeremy Lin jersey. This dude [is] making all nerds proud!” – Doug Baldwin, Stanford ’11, wide receiver, Seattle Seahawks

While his tale is certainly one of dedication and personal triumph, I think the reason that Lin’s success has so resonated with the Stanford crowd is that his story is a victory for nerds everywhere.  Reflecting on Stanford’s current dose of Linsanity, I quickly realized that Jeremy Lin isn’t the only “nerd” taking the sports world by storm – Stanford athletes throughout professional and Olympic sports demonstrate the true importance of smarts and dedication.

Join me as I trace the stories of a few of our favorite Stanford nerdthletes.

#RevengeOfTheNerds and the Seattle Seahawks:

Sherman and Baldwin celebrate a Seahawks touchdown.

It’s difficult to overcome misconceptions about athletes from elite universities in the professional sports world.  Former Stanford cornerback Richard Sherman once said, “I feel like people give us the short end of the stick a lot of times because of the academics.  They assume you’re slow, they assume you don’t have explosive players, you don’t have the best athletes, because of the academic standards.”

He and fellow former Stanford teammate Doug Baldwin have been working hard to overcome these prejudices ever since they signed with the Seahawks.  Indeed, per the Seattle Sports Hub, “they’ve done nothing since then but prove beyond any doubt that they belong in the NFL just as much as any guy drafted in the top 10 of any draft in the last decade at least.”

Sherman and his fellow Stanford athletes have embraced the “nerd” label, promoting the use of the “Revenge of the Nerds” battle cry from Twitter to the stadium.  With his inspiring personal story, determination (his twitter bio reads: “I lead by example / Confidence is a Prerequisite for Success”), and undeniable star power, role model Sherman is showing the next generation of scholars and athletes that it’s possible to be both. (more…)

Our Athletes Are Better Than Yours

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Our athletes have won more Director’s Cups than any other school in the nation.  There, I said it.  Article done, right?  But I feel like that’s a cop-out – everyone knows we have the number one athletics program in NCAA Division I.  What’s actually newsworthy, what actually matters, is that our athletes are quantitatively and qualitatively the best in the nation.  Here’s why.

For Andrew Luck, luck's got nothing to do with it.

Our athletes are held to a higher academic standard than those at other schools.

Coach Jim Harbaugh said it best: “We’re looking not for student athletes but scholar-athletes. No other school can carry this banner.”

Take Andrew Luck, for example.  Our star quarterback, who by all fair comparisons was robbed of the Heisman Trophy, was his high school valedictorian and is majoring in architectural design.  There’s no doubt, as Fox Sports put it, that Andrew “has the smarts to go with the impeccable athletic skills.”  Indeed, according to teammate Doug Baldwin, “The only thing Andrew can’t do very well is sing.”  Luck‘s likely to be the #1 NFL draft pick and, according to the Mercury News, “it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.”  Our beloved scholar-athlete seems like a pretty stark contrast to this year’s Heisman winner Cam Newton and the NCAA controversy surrounding his dubious recruitment.

Yeah, our athletes cure diseases. No big deal.

Our athletes are changing the world.

Chemical engineer Jake Vandermeer is a busy guy.  A United States Presidential Scholar and former principal cellist for the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, Jake walked on to our #1 men’s volleyball team last year.  Just this September, Jake joined the team at the White House celebration of the 2009-10 NCAA championship teams.  But what really makes Jake stand out is how he’s radically improving the lives of others.  This summer he helped develop a potential cure for Legg-Calve-Perthes disease – a crippling disease that affects about 1,200 children a year.  That’s really something to cheer about.