Mark Johnson recently wrote an amazing article describing the “Miracle on Ice” hockey game.
For everybody with patriotic blood flowing through their veins, that fateful night of February 22, 1980, during the winter Olympics represented the greatest moment in the history of American sports
A team full of young men in Team USA uniforms took the ice and defeated the juggernaut that was the Soviet Union’s hockey team. The big bad communists were believed to be unstoppable. The Russians soon learned the only thing that was unstoppable was American freedom, and Mark Johnson led the way in the monumental upset. (RELATED: Is The ‘Miracle On Ice’ The Greatest Sports Moment In American History?)
Johnson wrote the following in a “Dear Mark” letter when describing the famous game against the Soviet Union:
What would I tell my teenage self about the Miracle?
I’d start with this: Appreciate it and be thankful that you’re one of 20 guys who walked in those shoes.
I remember there was just this incredible buzz after we won. The town felt like it was going to explode. Most of us went to join our families at the nearby Holiday Inn. The game was on tape-delay, so we’re all standing around watching it. All the players had the same reaction. Is this real? Are we dreaming? Are we going to wake up and find out that we got beat 7-1?
You can’t plan for that moment. You can fantasize, but no one even fantasized about beating the Russians because they were that good. They’d beaten the NHL all-star team 6-0. They’d also whipped us 10-3 in an exhibition game less than two weeks before the Olympics.
I remember us coming back the next day for practice feeling pretty good about ourselves only to find Herb in the worst mood. I don’t think any of us could figure out why because we were in the moment and he was thinking about what could happen the next day. None of us had grasped that yet. We were loving life.
I always drop whatever I’m doing whenever I see new content about the “Miracle on Ice,” and I immediately consume it.
The game was just too great not to do so. In fact, the moment I saw this article from Johnson, I sent it over to my father, who is also a massive fan of the game.
The way Johnson put it is beautiful. You damn well better believe nobody fantasized about beating the Soviet Union. Nobody thought the Americans would even hang with them after getting slaughtered a couple weeks before. Yet, Johnson, Brooks and the rest of the guys pulled off the greatest upset in the history of sports.
I also love how Herb Brooks was pissed as he looked at the upcoming gold medal game against Finland. Classic Herb Brooks mentality. That’s what made him such a damn good coach.
You think beating the Soviets was simply enough? Hell no. We weren’t done until we also showed the Finnish the exits.
Finally, we’re not friends if you don’t admit that the movie “Miracle” is an all-time classic. Kurt Russell as Brooks was incredible.
The speech scene and the ending are both chilling moments in the movie.