I used to think the NY sports fan was more intelligent than any other. I used to think the NY sports fan wasn't dumbed down like many seem to be. By "dumbed down", I mean not just the usual talking points that circulate and frankly are boring. Maybe I am wrong here but what I have seen from a new poll makes me wonder. Actually, not a poll, but a bracket-like challenge.

ESPN.com did a 16-person field bracket to find out who is the most admired NY athlete. Much to my surprise (and disgust, frankly) Jeremy Lin beat Mariano Rivera to win the final.

Full disclosure, I am not a Yankee fan. I am a fan of the "hammer of God", as I call Rivera. He is, without debate, the greatest closer of all time. He has won 5 rings. He still throws the same pitch and still gets people out. Clutch was made for him. He made clutch. Yet, with all due respect to Lin, he beat out the "hammer of God" easily. Yeah, the vote wasn't even close.

Lin tabulated 70% of the final respondents. Mo had a paltry 30%. Read that again- that must be a misprint. No, it wasn't..70-30%. Lin beats out Rivera. As most admired. Lin has played, what 35 games in his Knicks career, and he destroys Mo in most admired? That's just disgusting.

Like most NY'ers, I enjoy Lin. He plays for a team I root for. Rivera doesn't, but please, who are you kidding. If that doesn't make you shake your head, see who Lin beat to get to the 16 athlete bracket.

First Lin beat out David Wright. Then he took apart Derek Jeter. So Lin, all of  35 games in his Knicks career, beats out the long time 3rd baseman of the Mets. Defeats a sure-fire first ballot hall of fame Shortstop with multiple rings, and then defeats the greatest closer of all time. Sorry folks, that is just disturbing.

Again, I ask, what has happened to the NY sports fan?