I haven't read the OP yet, but I'm going to guess: Herm's first grandchild was born?
OT: 33 years ago today
the mail was late that day
Now I don't claim to speak for Herm, but I sure as hell feel as though the older men on this board are discriminated against. Usually I'm not one for making a ruckus about getting my "feelings" hurt, but I've had about enough of getting guff because I wasn't born in the past 60 years. When I was a young man we had respect for our elders.
Guff is a funny word. No disrespect meant Ernie, even though I think you are actually 15 years old.
Nope. Made fun of? Yup.
But don't let that deter you from enjoying the the comraderie here. I commend you for showing your love for all things Michigan.
I'm a child of the mid-60's and I am onboard with this.
"11 seconds, you've got 10 seconds, the countdown going on right now! Morrow, up to Silk. Five seconds left in the game. Do you believe in miracles?! YES!"
On a side note, where can one find the broadcast of the actual game?
That is one of my daughter's favorite movies. Great scene from a great movie.
Call me what you will, but I have never gotten all teary eyed about this game or the call. Major upset? Sure. But if you know hockey you fully realize any team can win one game at any time. This is the most overrated "moments" in sports in my e-pinion.
If you take away the players, the jerseys, the context, and the stage, I will agree.
That's taking away a lot.
I respectfully disagree with your overrated comment.
In most leagues, any team can be beaten in any given game. However, this was a Russian team that was full of what otherwise would have been professional hockey players, playing against a bunch of college kids.
The Russian team had just beaten the US team 10-3 on February 9th, and the reports were that the game wasn't even that close.
Given the political overtones that surrounded the game, with the Cold War and all, I don't think this game was overrated at all.
but it was the Soviet Union, not just Russia. However, I completely agree with you that this victory was far from overated given the prior loss by the U.S and the political overtones at the time.
is almost cliche like these days, but it's just so descriptive of what went on. Even today, take whatever NCAA All-America team and match them against the best players (of any age) from Russia, Latvia, and the rest of the old USSR. Good luck putting Hunwick, Trouba and 21 year-old Jack Johnson out on the ice when the opposition can start Ovechkin, Malkin and Datsyuk as forwards.
Obviously that's not a perfect example (all-M players, obviously, and I don't think any of the three Russians would be the caliber players they are without NHL experience), but I think it still rings true in some respects.
Part of the reason why they were so good was because they practiced year round. The CSKA team was part of the Soviet military at the time, all the players were soldiers and their coach Viktor Tikhonov was a General.
Some of the greatest Russian players to ever play practiced together almost every single day for decades. No way any other country could compete with that.
You don't happen to work at a travel agency and have a wife that looks like Keri Russell, do you?
What? Were you old enough to remember the Cold War? This game was huge.
it's like a college football team beating the 1980 Pittsburgh Steelers!!
Michigan fans know more than anyone the evils of single elimination hockey. But TMOI is huge b/c of the international setting. Olympics, in our own back yard, against our Cold war nemesis, David v Goliath, plus an iconic broadcast clip helps immortalize this. As a game, I think it is overrated. But as a moment, i think it'd be tough to convince me of that.
I would have to agree regarding the game aspect of it. I think the Summit Series was way more influential and impactful as far as hockey as concerned, but as a "moment", this is definitely the greatest
That team also beat a team of NHL All Stars 2 games to 1 (4-2NHL, 5-4 Russia, 6-0 Russia). In the rubber match, the NHL All Stars were blown out.
This isn't a situation to use the "any given game" scenario.
Those guys on the Soviet team basically had been playing together for their entire lives.
An entire team who had been trained just for this event since they were young teenagers, playing against an amature team who had been together for a few months.
This was one of the greatest dynasties in sports.They won Olympic gold in 64, 68, 72, 76, 84 and 88. The Silver in 1980 was the first non-gold medal in twenty years.
It was different back then. It was Round Robin.
We played Finland for the Gold, but they finished 4th in the standings and didn't get a medal. USSR beat Sweden and finished 2nd in the standings, earning the Silver medal.
People shouldn't be down-modding you because you think the game is overrated. This board really likes to pride itself on being better than other message boards, but so often does the same "I disagree, time to flame him!" just like anywhere else.
Anyways, your comment that "any team can win one game at any time" seems to apply to just about any sport, not just hockey. Do you think all upsets are inherently overrated? What upsets actually live up to their billing, in your opinion? Honestly asking, not just being a dick.
I totally agree. For what it's worth, not only did I not downvote him, I +1'd him. I appreciate his comment and, for those who have their settings set to collapse downvoted comments, those comments should be seen.
I think hockey and baseball are the most easy to "upset" in a one game situation. One game tells us nothing about which team is better in those sports. Hell sometimes baseball even 7 games doesn't really tell you who is the best team.
Football and basketball "upsets" live up to the billing for me. When UofL beat Florida I thought that was pretty cool (even though I am big on bowl game incentives being a MAJOR factor - pro tip: never bet on bowl games).
I am also very ummmm.... different in my views about America, the cold war, etc. To put that in perspective the term used above "David vs. Goliath" to describe the cold war irks me. WHo is David in that scenario? I get it was a strange and scary time, but that doesn't play into the "moment" at all for me because I am not some eagle riding "MERCA guy.
better dead than red
love it or leave
Nobody was using David and Goliath to describe the entire Cold War. Neither the first nor the second world thought of it that way. "David vs Goliath" was a reference to the quality of the teams themselves. The situation would have been reversed had the USSR played the US all-stars in American Football, but that was not the situation.
Honestly, it sounds like you are letting your political opinions color your view of the actual athletic event.
I must have read
"...in our own back yard, against our Cold war nemesis, David v Goliath,"
And perhaps I am letting my opinions on the overwhelmingly ego-centric culture here (although not-political views) color my view, but I always put myself on the other side of things. Had our hockey team been this machine and we went over there and lost to a collection of soviet kids we would have complained about how they cheated or they were using some drug and it would have been pushed under the rug and never talked about.
I mean it was a hockey game that we won. I get it, it was an uderdog win, I just don't see it as the amazing, dewey eyed miracle others do. I never have.
i think that happened to USA basketball, but I don't recall the complaining about cheating and drug use by the opposition.
not a fan of Rocky IV, eh?
bfffbt... I hate Michigan Commies
I probably have similar views about the Cold War itself as you do, but I was born in 89. And as silly as I think some people viewed the Cold War, it doesn't change the fact that at the time, it was a huge deal for the typical American. And it is pretty obvious who is David and Goliath in this hockey setting. In the global/political/economic setting, it'd be different. But we're talking about hockey.
We're not talking about the Milwaukee Bucks beating the Heat. We're talking about Michigan beating the Heat. But with something actually at stake.
I agree. I thought the David v Goliath comment was about the global/political/economic thing, honestly. Which is so far from the truth it's funny. I mean US hasn't always been Goliath, but it has since any of us has been alive and can remember things.
And as silly as I think some people viewed the Cold War, it doesn't change the fact that at the time, it was a huge deal for the typical American.
The thing that's probably hard for people to understand who weren't alive then is how important this was to the Communist countries. They saw athletic competition as their way of beating the "decadent" West and in at least some cases (notably East Germany) would use dubious means of achieving victory. Whenever the USSR defeated the U.S. in sports, it used it as a propaganda tool. (They of course would not reveal to the masses that their athletes were often much older and at times abusing PEDs.) The U.S. of course wanted to beat them badly as well, but we weren't prepared to forego some traditional notions of amateurism to do it. We weren't willing to give up the idea of sending in college athletes to compete in team sports like hockey and basketball. It was understood that in doing so, we were competing against a stacked deck, but we didn't want to give off the perception that we were willing to win at all costs. So for our team of college guys to beat a loaded team of Soviet players (which had beaten NHL All-Stars before) was, quite honestly, miraculous.
Also, there wasn't anything silly about the Cold War. You had two alliances of nuclear-armed countries basically committed to each other's destruction. There is a lot of revisionism now claiming that it was "obvious" that the USSR was going to collapse. That was not at all obvious to people when the Cold War was actually going on.
My cynicism re: the Cold War has to do with the hatred and fear of Communism and Socialism itself that permeated American culture and continues today. And that people celebrate Hiroshima and Nagasaki but are pointing their fingers at the Soviet Union for their nuclear stockpile.
I celebrate Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was a hell of an accomplishment.
in terms of perspectives on the Cold War/decision to drop the bomb.
But again, you have consider the context. You have grown up in an age in which the Socialist parties in Western countries have shifted towards the center and the remaining Communist countries have abandoned much of their ideology.
But during the Cold War, the USSR's official foreign policy objective was for a worldwide Communist revolution. It was not content to have Communism exist in only certain countries. As a practical matter, some of its leaders took a more conciliatory approach. But worldwide revolution is a fundamental part of Communist thinking and all Eastern Bloc countries officially were committed to it, and their leaders would periodically give speeches to that effect ("We will bury the United States"). Communist parties in Western countries (such as France and Italy) followed the lead of Moscow. They refused to join coalition governments with any "capitalist" party. In the event of a military showdown, they apparently planned to turn against their own governments.
The Socialist parties, for their part, distanced themselves from the military/revolutionary aspects of Communism, but economically their goals were almost identical. It's been mainly only in the last 30 years that Socialist parties have advocated more of a mixed economy, with public-private partnerships. If you voted for a Socialist party during most of the Cold War, you were voting for a party that literally wanted the government to take over the economy.
I don't want to get too political, but I will say this so that you might have an idea of where I'm coming from: I believe in the total depravity of mankind and do not find anything inherently wrong about most ideologies. So I still put blame on people for viewing Communism and Socialism. Nothing wrong with complete gov't control. Nothing wrong with anarchy. But in lieu of this thread getting completely offbase, I bid you adieu. And I don't necessarily disagree w/ much of what you said.
That is a much too simple reading of history. It is more accurate to say that man is a fallible being that is capable of incredible acts of generosity and creativity as well as perpetrating unspeakably barbaric and inhumane acts. Sometimes good men are forced into committing the latter and bad men into the former by circumstances.
I'll never forget sitting on the bridge of the US Navy ship I was stationed on, in harbor - Barcelona Spain, in the last few days of 1991. I sat there and watched a few members of the crew on a Soviet Union ship paint over the Hammer & Sickle on its smoke stack.
That is an awesome memory. I'll never forget that.
Many countries have exploited such fears over time. Mao in China, the USSR, etc. It seems that you have forgotten the horrors of Communism and Socialism. Gulags, state-induced famines, severe restriction of personal liberty...how can you NOT loath such systems?
Communism killed more people then Facism by a fair margin. What's more the victims were their own citizens!
As for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Well, if we didn't use it then my grandfathers may well have had to go into Japan. Did you have any skin in that game, Bacon? I find that most who criticize the use of the bomb fail to comprehend how determined Japan's junta was in fighting the war to the bitter end(Bushido Code) and that they did not have any relatives serving in the Pacific.
Also, you forget that Japan first used WMD in that war when they used bombs fllled with plague on the Chinese. (See: Unit 731)
All this isn't to say that the US was perfect--it certainly is not. We have plenty to be ashamed about. But the US is no different from any other country. We didn't invent slavery. We didn't invent genocide or mass killing of civilians. We didn't invent oppression of minorities or lower classes. All that was already well known to the world for thousands of years. Yet, somehow people in this country in a weird version of the Americanocentric interpretation of history have come to believe that we are unique in having a past filled with lurid tales of atrocity and oppression.
I will always have a problem with innocent civilians killed in a war. No matter what side they are on. The citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki did nothing to the armies of America, or the citizens of China and so on and so forth.
And nowhere did I say that the US is more guilty than other countries.
As for the rest of the ignorance in your post, I won't get to it b/c I'm gonna stop posting in this thread as we've already violated the NO POLITICS rule of sports message boards. No need to continue it as if you read my posts and understood them you'd realize the irrelevancy of your response to mine.
PS - my grandpa fought in WWII and Korea. My great-uncle got a purple heart in WWII
Maybe my take on upsets is different, but just because an underdog beats the favorite, I don't assume that the underdog is the better team. There are plenty of outcomes that are special specifically because if that game were replayed 100 times, the underdog would never win again.
And I think the David v. Goliath thing refers just to the hockey match-up. The US and the USSR weren't both called "super powers" for nothing.
Your point about basketball is rubbish. Basketball is probably the easiest sport to upset a team--especially in the age of the three point line.
I have an idea why you are unimpressed with the Miracle On Ice.But due to the prohibition against political posts I shall refrain from pointing this out.
nevermind too late
Personally, I hate the self mod system. And I often think there are too many posters here. The flaming from both trolls and regulars is unbearable sometimes to post in threads about the two big sports. If it weren't for the OT and semi-frequent discussion on the non-revenue sports, I don' think I would ever post. Anyone who posts something even somewhat against the grain gets flamed.
It's comically appropriate that this comment was hidden and marked "Trolling."
I knew it was coming
Talk about negs/points/moderating you get negged.
But complaining about the current moderating system gets you pos'd, no?
But seriously, the points/mod-system isn't the issue. Just a symptom of an intellectual laziness around here that's been developing for a while. When someone posts a different viewpoint, the common response has been more of a "this guy thinks something different! Down mod to hide his comment and maybe call him some names! Best we not engage with any of his backward thinking..." than reasonable discussion.
to a crisp. Don't you realize this is a communist board? Go along. Get your cult hat on, fer godsakes.
As for that game, it was a huge, huge upset at the time. I graduated High School in 1980.
To touch on the older guys getting no respect in these parts, all I can say is some of you whippersnappers are lucky we are old enough to have learned restraint. Otherwise, we'd unplug you from the matrix and expose some truths to you that you really don't want to know, just yet.
And for the record, I still have a six pack at 50. Can still manage to run a 4.6 (4.3 back then). And could pass for 35.
So I can get a point? Make it worth my while and I'll show up.
sets of 20 dips just to stand up for the old guys.
A few points and I'm done with this exchange because I don't come here for confrontation. Or proving anything to anyone.
1. I know what I said is the truth and that is enough for me. That being said, I live in the metro Detroit area and will meet you for beers and satisfy your challenge if we can work out the logistics. Then, YOU can come on here and vouch for me. Because I could care less. I have no internet soul. I am far beyond others defining what I am or must live up to.
2. Last night I got irritated that some of my posts were negged for no other reason than censorship. I also got my ire up after seeing a couple of young guys giving older guys 'guff'. I don't normally 'talk smack' about my physical status either. But I got a bit tired of some of these youngsters assuming 'fathers' are over the hill.
3. I put all three of my kids through Michigan. I could tell some tales about our great institution that are best left unsaid.
4. Clearly, this is not a place for free exchange of ideas. Democracy.
5. I come here because I fell in love with Michigan one saturday morning around 1970. So much so, that I steered my youngest daughter there despite the fact she was accepted at Harvard.
6. Go Blue.
and I never get another point in this space, I'm cool with that. LOL. But don't get it twisted, you challenged my claims and I offered to oblige you.
I am intense because my formative young adult years were spent in the Defense Language Institute preparing to become a Cryptologic Russian Linguist. I got the top secret clearance with SCI/SBI. I speak (or used to) flawless, fluent Russian. I have done things you would neither believe nor can I talk about. While some of you were drinking it up and deciding who could join your clique, I was in survival school preparing to give my life so you could continue to have the right to create boards with groupthink attributes. At heart and in body and spirit, I am still that specially trained patriot. So sue me.
I know a little bit about a few things. Including attitude.
Everyone has already destroyed you for this comment, so I will make it everyone plus one:
You say "if you know hockey," but you apparently don't. This is not a somewhat better team losing to a somewhat lower quality team. This is is not the 2002 Red Wings losing a flukey game to, say, the Coyotes. This was a permanent, nearly flawless all-star team that NEVER LOST and was able to compete with and defeat the very best professionals, playing a bunch of under-skilled American college players. This is the 2002 Detroit Red Wings losing to the 2002 Saint Cloud State Huskies.
The USSR hockey program was a machine. You must not know about the 1972 Summit Series against the Canadian all-stars, a team that included every great Canadian player except Bobby Orr (including a certain Red-headed college graduate). That USSR team included several players that would still be on the team in 1980; the Canadian team is still a who's-who of hockey greats.
The Canadians barely escaped with a win, after posting a miserable 1-2-1 record in the first four games, all on Canadian ice. They barely escaped with their lives (in one or two situations, that statement is literally true).
That a bunch of amateurs, playing before the days when college players were regularly capable of playing in the NHL, could stay on the ice with the Soviets was inconceivable.
Thanks for the hockey history lesson, father...
certainly diminishes what he had to say.
I feel like you aren't giving the Canadians enough credit for their Summit Series win. You say they "barely escaped", but it was a very close series, not one they were lucky to win
Not my intent. My Dad was from Canada and called the Summit series win (he watched game 8 in Ann Arbor on tape delay after carefully avoiding anyone telling him the result) his proudest moment as a Canadian. I own a full DVD collection of the series, and we watched the Game 8 DVD together in our family room a week before he died. With my Canadian heritage I consider it an awesome series. It was also very, very close, with the Canadians trailing game 8 in the third and only getting the winning goal from Paul Henderson in the dying moments.
The point is, it was also a bit of a shock to the North American hockey establishment that the Soviets could push the Canadians so close to losing. The same system, the same team, and many of those same players that were every bit the equal of the Canadian all-NHL team came to Lake Placid. My point was that the Soviets were very good, and that the Americans shouldn't have even been on the same ice sheet.
In addition to what has been said (Cold War/professional vs. amatuer) this is the one time that I can think of that the entire country has united around a sporting event. I think that is really special, and, while it happens quite often in some places (Europe and Latin America in the World Cup for example), it really never happens in the States.
It was like App St. x 5.
I remember how the Red Wings' "Russian Five", especially Fetisov and Larionov, used to hate being asked about that game every year around its anniversary.
Still my favorite all time hockey team. Watching Federov skate and handle the puck along with Konstantinov kicking some ass.
...was so poor that not a single one of those magnificent young men were Michigan students.
Hard to imagine...even this year's team sent Trouba to the WJC.
But yeah, the Miracle On Ice is still my favorite moment in all of sports. Thanks for the reminder.
like 90% of the team from Minnesota? And a couple from Wisconsin
A couple 'Sconnies, but mostly it was split between Minnesota and Boston.
Boston University- 4
North Dakota- 1
For some reason I always thought there were more BU kids than 4. Eruzione, Craig, Silkie, and O'C represented bigger than they were.
College hockey had a different landscape then. Michigan was down, but even when they ramped back up under Red their initial quality teams consisted mostly of Canadians. The great Denver and North Dakota teams of the old WCHA were mostly Canadian, for example.
Minn and Mass were the places where most good American players developed back then, and they typically stayed home. Michigan didn't start producing a lot of great players until later.
Heh-heh...Bill Bonds. The original Ron Burgundy.
I watched the channel 7/ABC coverage and, yes, while Bill Bonds announced "continued coverage of the U.S. hockey team's big win," you didn't have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out the results ahead of time just from the ABC coverage. Their cut-aways from the game to Jim McKay (I think) featured a background of drunk people thronging the streets of Lake Placid waving American flags. Small-ish giveaway, that.
I sort of saw it live, but only relatively.
I was a freshman at Michigan and the Olympic hockey was probably the sports highlight of that year with my new friends. I knew nothing about hockey (and still don't, really), but one of the guys on the hall was a hockey player from Buffalo. He made us all fans -- Sweden tie, win over the Czechs, etc. We even talked about just taking a crazy road trip and just driving to Lake Placid. My common sense intervened and ruined what could have been a great lifetime story.
But here's the thing: for some reason the day of the game against the Soviets I went AWOL. I had an Enlish lit class in Theatre and decided to bail on reading Waiting for Godot by just going to watch it instead. The performance was at the Canturbury Loft on State Street and I saw it with two dozen people. (It's a real snoozer.)
Afterward, I remembered that the game would be on TV. I went to Dooleys on Maynard, got in, and saw the game winding down on the big screen. I couldn't believe we were leading and that we were going to . . . WIN. I went nuts. Alone. Because everyone else in the bar already knew we had won.
I was going to ask if anyone remembered him giving away the score.
IIRC - It was during a news update, DURING THE GAME! I was watching with my dad who went ballistic. I was a nine year kid, and told him that there was no way anyone would be that dumb and it couldn't have been the final score. I didn't yet appreciate Mr. Bonds and the likelihood that he was under the influence of one substance or another. My ignorance of Bill's history allowed me to enjoy the rest of the game. My dad, however, really wanted to kick Bond's ass.
In those days there were three television channels, four if you had a UHF station. In Detroit we could also get the CBC, though it was usually "snowing." The game was not even on live television and was replayed in primetime on ABC 8 hours after the game was played. I remember catching interest in the US team as the tournament wore on, but I knew virtually nothing about any of them when the Olympics began. I believe they had a huge and unexpected win over (Finland?) which kind of got people's attention, only to set up the game against the Soviets, which of course was a certain crushing loss. A lot of people don't realize that this was not the finals, and the US had to again beat a very good team (Czechoslovakia?) to win the gold.
Reversed - beat Czechoslovakia in the group stage, then Finland for the gold.
You've got Finland and the Czech's mixed up. The US played Finland to secure the Gold-Medal
As did Finland. It truly was a miracle on ice.
Just proves that God was smiling down on our strong American team and not those Godless commies.
Not sure random anniversaries -- oh, the big 33! -- merit individual threads. Otherwise the board would be filled with them. "48 years ago today, in bowling!"
Totally. This just knocked off the "Tressel to MSU" rumor thread from yesterday morning! C'mon, people, get it together!
on topic news and analysis threads, the threshold for what constitutes a good thread would be raised. As it is, this is a really slow on-topic day and, although 33 is random, it's still the anniversary of the most celebrated American international victory ever in a team sport, and is likely the most celebrated international contest period since the Munich games (from an American perspective, obviously).
What happened 48 years ago in bowling? I couldn't find anything on the googles. Being an avid bowler you can't just leave a guy hanging like that. I NEED TO KNOW
OK I'll help out a fellow bowler but this probably does truly need its own topic. Anyway, 48 years ago today was the first day of the Pikes Peak PBA Open. A tournament in which Detriot bowler Dave Soutar slammed the competition and took home the $5,000 prize claiming his second PBA win.
Is this real or made-up?! Awesome either way, for different reasons.
I didn't mean that the 33 years is the important part, just that it is "Miracle Day", if you will.
The Miracle was and is the greatest moment in American sports. I don't need to be biased to say this--it regularly receives that rating from multiple media outlets and publications whenever such a question is posed.
It's impossible to give such a sporting event the justice that is due on a board like this. I wish I had been old enough to enjoy it when it happened. Unless the US Men's Soccer team wins the World Cup (preferably at home) we will never see something like this again. It was exraordinary.
Is auctioning his jersey, stick, and gloves I remember reading recently. The jersey is expected to fetch around a million. He said he'd never part with the gold medal though.
If you ever find yourself in the Adirondack mountains make sure you go to Lake Placid. You can do a tour of the rink and it is incredible when they play the footage from that night.
I am old enough to remember it clearly. Forgive the grumpy old man nature of my comments, but it's really hard to understand just how important this was if you didn't live through it. It's not just the incredible nature of it as a sports upset (remember, American hockey back them wasn't nearly as strong as it is now, so it wasn't just the best team in the world losing to a bunch of college students, it was them losing to a bunch of *American* college students - as McKay said, sort of like the Steelers losing to a group of Canadians). But the political context of the time - hostages in Iran, Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, etc. - made it (forgive the cliche) more than a sporting event. People who normally wouldn't care about hockey, or even the Olympics, cared about this. I doubt we'll ever see anything quite like it again.
Oh, and while no Wolverines on the team, I believe there were two Michigan natives - Ken Morrow and Mark Wells.
Yes, thank you. I was sure there were Michigan men on the team, they just weren't Michigan Men.
Your description of the overall political situation is accurate, and I think in the context of history this even grows in stature due to how things unfolded from there. The 1970s were not without their charm culturally, but the politics was pretty brutal. There was the Nixon debacle, the fall of Saigon, the whole Jimmy Carter years (no politics, but inflation was nuts and interest rates to get a mortgage were, get this, up to %18 at times!!!). The 80s came in with this gold medal and by mid-decade the economy boomed and then the USSR and the Wall came down late 80s.
Interesting that other "greatest" sporting events are also tied to world events. Joe Louis knocking out Max Schmeling, and Jesse Owens's Berlin Olympics come to mind.
You and Yossarian nailed it. This was far, far more than a hockey game. It was a unifying triumph for a country that needed it badly.
Looking back with the benefit of history, it does seem odd that anyone could have believed that America could lose the Cold War, or that the USSR could ever have emerged as the dominant power in the world. However, on February 21, 1980 that view did exist and was supported by a horrible US economy, the Iran hostage crisis, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (which had gone well for the Soviets up to that point), memories of Vietnam, Watergate, and so on.
It is strange to think that a group of college kids playing hockey could make a nation believe in itself again. But they did. That is the real Miracle on Ice. The hockey game was just a fraction.
I was 2 weeks old so no personal memories of it. But it's a story you never get tired of.
First, the moment wasn't live broadcast. By the time of the telecast some 3 hours later, the outcome was known. More people watched just to see how the heck it happened.
Second, events like the Iran Hostage crisis were occurring and Americans were hungry for some national pride.
Third, we didn't have much info on the USSR and their sports teams were robots. Iron curtain.
It was good vs evil and the good guys desperately needed a win. Cue the music . . .
In Winter 1980 I was a Michigan Junior, and I remember watching the game in the morning on cable in a house on Hill Street. I really can't tell you whether or not the game was live, but in pre-internet days, things were different. (IIRC, for whatever reason, we had the channel and were watching live.) It was an incredible experience.
I am not enough of a hockey fan to know all the intricacies and relative strengths of different teams, and will defer to many others. However, I will concur to say that this was one of those rare events that many Americans agreed upon in terms of rooting interests. Unlike figure skating and the other typical "Olympic" sports, Hockey was something many sports fans could get behind. And yes, there was definitely the sense that the Americans were playing over their heads, and that winning this game was inconceivable.
I did think of one potential analogy, by the way. The Dream Team vs. all comers. The USA Olympic Basketball Team with Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, and a few more was a juggernaut. That team was so overwhelming that the competition was no competition . . . the other teams were just happy to be on the court vs. basketball royalty.
and watched it live in Bursley. Had a bunch of High School buddies in town. Too drunk to remember what happened after we won!
30 years ago today i was born at osu medical center and have been running from my past ever since...now someone kindly upvote me to 100 so i can stop running.
my goodness. the debate over who was right or wrong in the cold war misses the point. everyone who is old enough to remember that game grew up hiding under their desks in school because of the fear from a russian nuclear attack. whether you hate communism or love it or are indifferent to it, you have to understand that people who are old enough to remember 1980 were terrified of it. and terrified of the soviets. period. thats why this is a bigger deal than all the other upsets you could list.
As a Lake Placid resident, I drive by the Herb Brooks arena/1980 rink every day. In fact, I work across the street from it. When our school has an evacuation drill, we all walk across the street to the arena and sit in the stadium where it all happened. We enter at the athletes' entrance and walk right out through the tunnel the teams came out of. Some of the younger people at school joke about it, but to be honest, I can still get chills, probably because I'm old enough to remember the game (and the Sweden game on Sunday).
But I thought Rocky beating Ivan Drago was a much bigger upset.
Thank you Herb