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The Neutral Zone

Reflecting on the Miraculous

The place to talk hockey. NHL banter, discussions on the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Lake Erie Monsters, and college hockey.

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Reflecting on the Miraculous

Unread postby peeker643 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:33 pm

Well done Adam http://bit.ly/i4H38J

The picture on the front page gives me goosebumps. Wish I could have contributed to the article but maybe next time.

I will say I disagree with Jesse. It was more than the sporting event potential. It had a lot to do with where the country was in terms of self-confidence and everything else. The Iranian hostage crisis was on Nightline every night, the Soviets were in Afghanistan (about to meet the same fate every away team has met in Afghanistan but we didn't know that then) and there was a general feeling of impotency from a national standpoint.

I was 14 but felt it in asking parents and/or teachers why we didn't go in and get our people out of Iran and why the USSR was taking over the Middle East. People were disillusioned, plain and simple. All politics aside, Jimmy Carter had just finished butchering the hell out of the POTUS job and the economy sucked 2010 balls.

No one 'needed' the result of a hockey match to love their country. But it rekindled the passion people felt for it for sure and that was a much needed shot in the arm.

How much so? We watched that game on fucking tape delay. It wasn't on live here. This was right before cable exploded and sports were on all the time. The Olympics were on from maybe 7-11pm weeknights and all day Saturday and Sunday.

That game was played at 11am or 12pm or whatever and wasn't on here. And no one bitched about that initially because it was promising to be an ass kicking of epic proportions.

Send the freaking NHL ALL Star team out there against a college team today and you'd have a similar mismatch to what that was. No one needed a prime time beat down of the US by the USSR on national television.

But we watched it BECAUSE we heard what had happened and we watched it as families because no one could believe it and they just had to see it. It was #1 losing to #16 in the NCAAs or really damn close to it.

And we watched it as if we didn't know the outcome. We sweated every US penalty and held our breath on every Soviet onslaught of shots and erupted with each American goal. And when that game ended, actually, about 12 hours after it ended and we had already known how it ended, people in my house had tears in their eyes and goose bumps up and down their arms.

And then we watched the replay the next day (which was Saturday) and suddenly Sunday was the most important hockey game ever (since Friday). They HAD to win the gold to validate and cement the win over the Soviets.

The Soviet upset was tremendous and emotional and all that anyone has ever said about it. But the true mettle in that team was Sunday when they had to stand up to true pressure and validate themselves as more than a lucky punch and an anonymous group of kids that rose up ONCE and then weren't heard from again.

Because the gold medal ceremony may have been more important than the Soviet win in terms of national pride. Beating the USSR was a gigantic "Fuck You" to their brutal foreign policy and their defensemen alike. That was all about standing up to them. The gold medal ceremony was validation and a resurrection of OUR way of life.

It was that big.

I saw my old man with tears in his eyes twice in my life: the day his mom died and the day the United States hockey team climbed up on the podium as one.

The hockey match didn't make people here love their country. It just helped them remember why they did.
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Re: Reflecting on the Miraculous

Unread postby skatingtripods » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:36 pm

peeker643 wrote:The picture on the front page gives me goosebumps. Wish I could have contributed to the article but maybe next time.


I sent you a PM about it. I only got 4 back of the 10 I sent. Not sure what happened with that. Sent them to some pretty active posters too.
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Re: Reflecting on the Miraculous

Unread postby swerb » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:36 pm

Great post Peeker.
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Re: Reflecting on the Miraculous

Unread postby peeker643 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:44 pm

skatingtripods wrote:
peeker643 wrote:The picture on the front page gives me goosebumps. Wish I could have contributed to the article but maybe next time.


I sent you a PM about it. I only got 4 back of the 10 I sent. Not sure what happened with that. Sent them to some pretty active posters too.


No. I got the PM and just got caught up running kids to 4-4 soccer tournies and to volleyball skills practices, etc and doing whatever around here. Had every intention of replying but just lost track of it. I appreciate the invite.

Didn't need me, it's great as is. Saying it more as a regret that I just didn't send ya my thoughts.

But ya have 'em now ;-) ;) :wink:
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Re: Reflecting on the Miraculous

Unread postby skatingtripods » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:01 am

Which works, because I'll do a follow up column on Thursday, the 31 year anniversary of them winning the gold medal. I definitely plan on using what you said about your father and seeing the whole team on the podium.

Then I'll run my Jackets piece after Friday's Jackets game because that's a huge game for the trade deadline.
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Re: Reflecting on the Miraculous

Unread postby peeker643 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:10 am

skatingtripods wrote:Which works, because I'll do a follow up column on Thursday, the 31 year anniversary of them winning the gold medal. I definitely plan on using what you said about your father and seeing the whole team on the podium.

Then I'll run my Jackets piece after Friday's Jackets game because that's a huge game for the trade deadline.


:cheers:
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Re: Reflecting on the Miraculous

Unread postby skatingtripods » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:26 am

peeker643 wrote: :cheers:


Yes, that. On March 18. Depending what time my hockey game is. And if I'm drinking with my teammates before that. Though last year, I showed up hammered to the first game. I could barely stand. It was atrocious. And to think, I drove to the game too.
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Re: Reflecting on the Miraculous

Unread postby Squints » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:51 pm

"If you lose this game, you'll take it to your fucking grave."- Herb Brooks. US down 2-1 after 2, won 4-2. No other words necessary.
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