Twenty-five years ago today.
The Miracle on Ice.
It still brings a lump to my throat.
Here's my previous thoughts on the greatest sports upset of all time, and its mastermind, the late, great Herb Brooks.
New stuff: an excerpt from The Boys of Winter, with a brilliant portrait of Mike Eruzione.
Go buy Miracle. You'll be glad you did. This is the film version of Brooks' speech from before the game:
Great moments are born from great opportunity.
That's what you have here, tonight, boys. That's what you've earned here tonight. One game.
If we played them ten times, they might win nine.
But not this game. Not tonight.
Tonight, we skate. Tonight, we stay with them, and we shut them down.
Because we can!
Tonight, WE are the greatest hockey team in the world.
You were born to be hockey players, every one of you. And you were meant to be here tonight.
This is your time.
Their time is done, it's over. I'm sick and tired of hearing about what a great hockey team the Soviets have. Screw 'em.
This is your time. Now go out there and take it!
Finally, lest we forget, the U.S. had to beat Finland to actually win the gold. Brooks' speech from that game's second intermission was more terse, but oh-so-true:
"If you don't win this game, you'll take it to your f*****g graves. Your f*****g graves!"