Monday, February 22, 2010

Maybe Less "Miracle" & More "Divine Intervention"

It happens every Winter Olympics since 1980; remembering the Miracle On Ice; Sports Illustrated's single greatest sports moment. NBC Olympic coverage dedicated 30 minutes or more to a special segment reflecting on the game against the Russians that coined the best call in sports history. "Do you believe in Miracles?"

The day may come when reflecting on 1980's Team USA and their driving force, Herb Brooks, won't make me cry. Maybe. But for now, I still sit and sob watching the old videos, hearing Brooks speeches, listening to those "college students" reminisce about the importance of that game for the sport and the country.

Brian Burke's Team USA, wearing their 1960 throwback jerseys, may not be as "miraculous," but it achieved a well needed upset over the Canadian Nationals. Burke, as GM of Team USA, has taken criticism over his roster choices for this year's Team USA. As GM of the Canada's most visible NHL Team, he is criticized daily for their failure. But Brian Burke has more successes to his credit that overshadow any talk of failure.

CCTV produced a commercial with Michael J. Fox promoting hockey as "Canada's game." Considering Fox's battle with Parkinson's, it was a well done tear-jerker. But the message was stinging for those of us SOUTH of Canada's border. They still believe the game belongs to them. It may have been born in Canada, but it is loved by many. Maybe it's time they get over it.

Maybe it was 'divine intervention' that brought the young USA team and their few veterans to that 5 - 3 victory over Canada's best. (Seriously, that stick bending shot of Rafalski's that pinballed off Langenbrunner and under Brodeur seemed "other worldly.") Maybe, just maybe, it's time for the Hockey community to realize that hockey belongs to US too and pretty soon, there will be no "non-traditional hockey markets" in North America.

Maybe Brian Burke truly IS the Pope Of Hockey. Maybe the Pope can manifest a Miracle and bring home to the US the Gold from the Vancouver games. Maybe it would be the Hockey God's reward for hard work, dedication and sacrifice that has spanned decades.

To Brian Burke, Ron Wilson, Scott Gordon and even John Tortorella -- Congratulations and Thank You for a job well done. Now, go show the rest of the world that Hockey grows in the United States.

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