Welp. The whole system is crashing down. You and I, the very people who have been following Rinku and Dinesh from their arrival in America to their big tryout next week, are getting left in the dust. Abandoned on the side of the road to fame. Despite the fact that I FOUND THEM FIRST DAMMIT, Jeff Bernstein (JB Sir) found it prudent to give interviews with the guys to everyone but me. Maybe I should have been more subtle than the Dhalsim picture. Let me spin you a yarn.
After a couple of months of following and writing about them every week, I decided late this summer that their adventure had the makings of a pretty good feature story. I shopped it around to a couple of places and one national magazine agreed that it had a lot of potential. I was given enough words to describe them, that incredible blog and get an interview with some quotes. Should have been good for everyone. After all, Bernstein was a marketing agent and this was a pretty big magazine.
Lo and behold after I got in touch with Bernstein all he could ask was "Where did you hear about these guys?" like they were some sort of Indian state secret. I was unaware two guys with a website and a rap song were an unknown commodity. Citing "too much pressure" on the guys he declined the interview saying "they" wished I wouldn't even write the story yet. All of this seemed really curious since The Million Dollar Arm was a reality show in India. Oh I forgot, no one lives in India. No pressure there.
I had a pretty good idea what was going on. Bernstein probably just hadn't figured out a way to monetize the kids yet, and I was about to publicize them before he'd signed any contracts. That was my guess anyway. All the talk about moving them too quickly just didn't jibe with the way they were being handled, especially back home. I wrote the story anyway. It focused mainly on the blog posts since I didn't have too much else to go on. It was detached and not very compelling and as such languished on the desk of my editors. Keep in mind this was about 2 months ago.
It appears the ink has dried on whatever deals Bernstein was trying to work out. In the span of about 3 days last month their blog talked about this USA today story and their new American reality show. They really must have learned to deal with pressure in 4 weeks. The USA Today story has in turn caught on in the blogosphere and alas, Rinku and Dinesh are no longer ours.
Mom was right. Writing magazine articles about Indian teenagers who win a contest to come to America and live on the campus of USC to train and be MLB pitchers, all the while dealing with homesickness and culture shock really is a cruel business. But I swear if anyone uses Dmac's Convoy picture, we're suing.