On February 22, 1980 — 31 years ago yesterday — this happened.
I still get goosebumps and choke up just a little bit every time I year Al Michaels exclaim, “Do you believe in miracles?? YES!” What I did now know was that the only reason Michaels was there was because he was the only ABC announcer who had any hockey experience (which amounted to exactly one game). I pulled that from a neat article on ten things you may not have known about that game. This column, on how Herb Brooks decided to harness the spirit of America to drive his team, is also a good read, though the writer can’t help but injecting a few misguided political statements of his own.
I admit that I’m a sucker for American success stories, especially in the movies. I loved Kurt Russel’s portrayal of Herb Brooks in Miracle, Rocky still thrills me, and the scene where 35 year-old rookie pitcher Jimmy Morris gets his first major league strikeout in The Rookie earns a fist-pump just about every time I see it. The Miracle on Ice, though, was a bona fide American success story that played out right in front of us and helped lift us out of the long, dreary Carter years of recession, gas rationing, and humiliation by punk totalitarians and socialists. It taught us that the stuff we had been raised to believe about hard work and striving for seemingly-impossible goals still worked and revived long-needed pride in our country and our countrymen.
I can’t get enough of that. I long for more of it, especially these days when it’s cool to smash-mouth America and her citizens, even if you are (and perhaps especially if you are) the President. Maybe you feel the same way.