Monday, February 22, 2010

This is Not a Miracle

As you might expect, I am jacked up over Team USA's hockey win over Canada last night. To paraphrase Badger Bob Johnson, "It was a great day for hockey."

You had all of the 30-year anniversary retrospectives on the Miracle on Ice from the 1980 Games--just to get you in the mood for another huge Olympic match up. The NHL Network (perhaps in a stunning bit of foreshadowing) aired Game Three of the 1996 World Cup of Hockey when Team USA upset Canada in Montreal to capture its first "open" hockey tournament title ever. After watching all of that, I was all set for another great effort from the Red, White and Blue--and boy did they deliver.

I know some pundits will try to compare this win to the historic victory over the Soviets at Lake Placid--but that comparison would be unfair. Everyone on the ice in Vancouver last night was a paid professional. And let's be honest, while their fans may be unbelievably smug and pompous, it's kind of hard to hate the Canadians like we hated and feared the Russians. Now if Al Qaeda would just field a hockey team. And as bad as things are economically and socially right now--it still pales in comparison to the "malaise" that hung over the US in 1980.

Last night's victory should instead stand as a tribute to everyone who has worked to bring the United States to the same level as the Hockey Superpowers of Canada and Russia. The win justifies all the hard work put in by Badger Bob and Herb Brooks and all of the executives at USA Hockey over the years that worked to build the lower levels of the sport everywhere around the country--even places where Al Michaels so cleverly put it "they don't know the difference between a blue line and a clothesline."

The win is also a tribute to all of those hockey parents who buy or bought all of the expensive equipment, the ice time and tournament entries just so their kids can play the sport...who sat through games where players spent more time on their butts than handling the puck...and the kids for realizing that actually going out and playing the game is far more satisfying than just playing EA Sports NHL 2010 or Wii Hockey...not to mention the volunteer coaches who could only get practice time at six a.m. or ten at night...and all of the officials needed to make sure the kids learn the proper rules.

Last night was also a tribute to the fans of hockey here "below the border". It's the payoff for years of being relegated to "secondary" channels during the Olympics--so we don't miss ice dancing. The years of not being able to even watch the NHL because it was on a cable network that you could see in only about 20-percent of the country. Labor strikes that almost cancelled the playoffs one year and the domination of the European-dominated Detroit Red Wings.

This is no miracle that the US has joined the elite in international hockey. It's the result of decades of hard work and passion by hundreds of thousands of people at every level. Good job everyone--you deserve this.


  1. I was in labor with my son 30 years ago today, and we wouldn't leave for this hospital because we wanted to see the end of that awesome hockey game. Hard to believe it was that long ago already, but yesterday's retrospective brought a smile and a tear.

    Happy Birthday to my great son. I do believe in miracles, and it has absolutely nothing to do with hockey. :)

  2. Anonymous #2: Thanks for ruining my heartwarming anecdote with your mean-spirited, totally unrelated drivel.

    Yours truly, Anonymous #1

  3. Teresa wrote:

    They will probably screw this up too and when they finally choose they will have either taken too long or will so low ball the offer the candidate will be offended and say no thanks. I have little to no faith in the majority of board members. (From Karl Marx Lowensteins website)

    Well, Teresa, it looks like you were wrong again. The board hired a Super. Something your liberal friends couldn't do!

  4. Well Teresa Thiel, looks like your failed Superintendent search prediction was once again as wrong as your voting record during your underwhelming 3 years on the board (she only was elected because she has no other competition)

    Teresa, it's too bad you didn't run this year as it would have been fun to see John Dagett beat you! Te hee...

    Question for the day:

    Why do people, that can't win on election day insist on being so outspoken when voters time and time again reject their ideology?

    Is it because they are ignorant? Dumb?

  5. Looks like the previous poster finally shut up the Thiel liberals!

    I guess the best way to silence those that are wrong is to point to voting records.

    The best way to silence those that made this mess is to provide leadership that corrects.

    I hope Teresa takes a permanent break from giving her opinion. Cuz' everytime we read it, we are all dumber.

  6. Did NO ONE like my hockey game anecdote? Come on people :) After all, that's what the blog was about.