You can't help but feel some vicarious vindication for Ed Weiland, the low-key FedEx employee who saw Jeremy Lin's potential when so many NBA GMs didn't. Weiland has a humble background that's the perfect fodder for Jason Gay profile of him in today's Wall Street Journal: He's a 51-year-old father of two, a college dropout, and amateur basketball sabermetrician whose 2010 post on Hoops Analyst predicting "Jeremy Lin is a good enough player to start in the NBA and possibly star" garnered so much traffic this past week that it crashed the site.
Weiland relied on statistics from Lin's career at Harvard in his analysis, so mark this down as another example of the continuing Moneyball-ization of sports. And mark Weiland down as one of the few people Linsightful enough (that'll be our only Lin pun!) to predict the Knicks star's success. (Others include Pablo S. Torre, who fawned over Lin in a 2010 Sport Illustrated profile, and UConn coach Jim Calhoun, who said of Lin in 2009 "I can't think of a team he wouldn't play for" after playing him.) And while predictions can be fickle (it's usually only the successful ones that get remembered) and Weiland will be the first to tell you his wrong calls, we predict that some NBA team or sports website will come calling for Weiland soon:
Ed Weiland said that he'd once hoped to turn his stats hobby into a professional career, but it was "never a burning ambition." He compared it to friends who played music for love. He confessed he'd never even spoken to Schreiber, the Hoops Analyst founder, communicating with the website only via email. Until late Wednesday, Schreiber had no idea what Weiland did for a living.
"I've lived a happily quiet life," Weiland said. "And it's still happily quiet."
Read the entire Wall Street Journal profile here.