Print and Go Back Page 2 [Print without images]

Thursday, February 16, 2012
Duff: Dealing with sudden fame and popularity

Jeremy Lin fan
Duff McKagan recalls the early days of success when he became funnier and better-looking.

Since I am not your usual type of writer here at ESPN (read: not a sportswriter by anyone's wildest imagination), it has been my mission to try to equate a sports story here or there to something perhaps that I have experienced. McKagan has seen some @$#*. McKagan is a sports fan like all of y'all. McKagan got himself a column. Period.

I am from a city (Seattle) that has lost its NBA team. Since that loss occurred -- the NBA itself and as a whole -- has been sort of "dead" to me. Oh, I sort of still follow in the most shadowy of terms (Blake Griffin has inspired a certain modicum of fandom); but for the most part, Seattle basketball fans are like the proverbial "man without a country."

But this past week it seems, something now dubbed "Linsanity" has swept us all up into a lather. Yes. Jeremy Lin, that normal guy who could in many ways be you or me (well, if you or I could go to Harvard and play excellent basketball and still be an unnoticed hoops asset on par for the next level), has absolutely and out of nowhere just been crushing it in the past six games for his New York Knicks. He did it again Tuesday night, scoring 27 points and hitting the game-winning 3-pointer with 0.5 left at Toronto. It is fun to watch. It is exciting, and it piques our collective imagination of the underdog. Davey has been stomping on mean ol' Goliath as of late. It has become a daydream story of what "could be" in our own lives.

So now, to a side of this story that I can sort of relate to from something that I had experienced once upon a time, when shockingly, my rock band Guns N' Roses suddenly and overnight went from thought-of street urchins whom no one gave a real chance of surviving to Cinderella-like success. From your own perspective inside the goldfish bowl, you don't sense a change in yourself. But from the outside -- that is, how other people are suddenly treating you because of the success -- one can get confused and think that perhaps you might be a bit more grandiose and kick-ass.

• Click here to read the rest of musician Duff McKagan's weekly column on ESPN Music.