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Monday, August 11, 2003

Sadness in Hockeyville:

The man who coached the "Miracle on Ice" in 1980 has died. Herb Brooks, who took a group of misfits and molded them into hockey champions was in an auto accident near the Twin Cities in Minnesota.

I'm old enough to remember that miracle, like it was yesterday. I remember the days of the Cold War, high gas prices, the hostages in Iran, and Soviet aggression in Afghanistan. It was a depressing time, and a time of wounded American pride.

Then that winter, I remember Al Michaels' famous words: "Do you believe in miracles?" I remember cheering as Mike Eruzione skated against the Soviets, emotion on his sleeve, and made me believe that we, the USA, were invincible, if only on the ice, even though, 9 times out of 10, the Soviet juggernaut would have likely beaten us.

I remember becoming a bit more of an optimist, all because of a little hockey team led by an unknown coach. Who today can even name three players off that team? I can, but that just shows how mesmerized I, and dozens of young American kids alike, were.

When Herb Brooks came back to coach again, with the Rangers, the North Stars, the Devils, and the Penguins, he showed his stuff, but it wasn't the same. Herb wanted to be with his family, back home, in Minnesota. And that's where he will rest in peace. The hockey world is sad today; you will be missed, Herb.


.: posted by Dave 7:43 PM

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