36 years ago a bunch of college kids shocked the entire world. Twenty college kids helped win the Cold War (maybe) from the inside of a rink.
36 years ago the U.S. men’s Olympic hockey team beat the USSR to make it to the gold medal round.
Doesn’t seem like too weird of a thing, right? Just a hockey game.
So, so, wrong.
I know I wasn’t even born at that moment, a lot of people reading this probably weren’t, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get chills every time I watch the original game film. Al Michaels’ “do you believe in miracles” quote is forever in my head. The reason for this is that this hockey game changed hockey, and arguably the entire world, forever.
Hockey wasn’t seen as a huge thing back in those days, “USA Hockey” wasn’t going to be front page news at any rate. But once people found out that a bunch of kids from Massachusetts and Minnesota were going to be playing the world-renown, seasoned vets of Soviet Russia during the freakin Cold War? Oh boy, things lit up.
Expectations of winning the game were actually extremely low, but the 20 names on the roster suddenly were representing the names of millions.
Then this happened:
Absolutely changed the world. I don’t care what anyone says about it otherwise.
The American squad wasn't necessarily great, but the greatest coach in world history, Herb Brooks, (sorry Belichick) managed to realize they might not be the best players, but they were the right ones. That meant more than anyone can really figure out. They had a connection, however faint or hard-to-realize it might have been. There was something worth building on, and Herb Brooks knew that and built a gold medal team.
“Miracle” is by far the best movie. Yes, I can quote the whole thing.
I actually played in the rink that the game was won in up in Lake Placid. The community as a whole is beautiful, but you can tell that they don’t maintain how it looks. It's been a few years since I've been there and things probably might look better since then, but it’s sad that it got to such a bad point at all. Given the history and the importance of the place you’d think that they’d keep up with it.
(still loved it.)