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Thread: Thirty Years Ago Today 2/22/1980

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    Member cumberlandreds's Avatar
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    Thirty Years Ago Today 2/22/1980

    It was 30 years ago today that the most improbable upset in sports history took place. This was the date the USA beat USSR 4-3 in the 1980 Olympics in Lake Pacid. You really have to put the game in context to really appreciate how big this was. The USA and USSR were at the height the Cold War. The USA had just went through Watergate,Viet Nam and the general turmoil of the 60's and 70's. The economy was in the dumper;the USSR had just invaded Afghanistan and appeared ready to invade the Middle east oil fields and start WW III;Iran had just taken US hostages were parading them in front of the world and basically rubbing our noses in it. It was just a bad time in general for this country. Then a bunch of college kids playing hockey went on a miracle run in the Olympics and changed morale for the entire country. The Russian team had played the USA just a couple of weeks before in MSG and beaten them 10-3! This same Russian team had beaten the best of the NHL too in games leading up to the Olympics. They were considered the best team in the world. ABC, who covered this Olympics,thought so little of the game that they didn't cover it live. It was on tape delay later that night. I was watching it thinking it was live. Between the 2nd and 3rd periods I turned to a college basketball game and they announced during it that the USA had won. I thought what!?! I'm watching it now. Oh well,it didn't spoil it for me. It was still THE most thrilling sporting event I have ever watched. And I'm not even a hockey fan by any measure. I once heard a comparison at how big an upset this was. It was compared to the Russians putting together a football team and beating the then World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. That would be pretty much improbable by the way we look at things. Nothing will ever duplicate that feat and will forever be remembered by those who were living during that time.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_on_Ice
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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Thirty Years Ago Today 2/22/1980

    ABC, who covered this Olympics,thought so little of the game that they didn't cover it live.
    ABC wanted to move the game to prime time and carry it live but the Soviets didn't want to since it would have been a 4 a.m. start in Moscow.
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    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Thirty Years Ago Today 2/22/1980

    Like I was often during this time, I was in a bar when I heard about it. It was on a Friday IIRC. I remember watching it on the bar big screen TV.

    Also IIRC, this was the first time the martial "U-S-A, U-S-A!" chant came into vogue.

    Pay attention to the open sky

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    Member cumberlandreds's Avatar
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    Re: Thirty Years Ago Today 2/22/1980

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Tucker View Post
    Like I was often during this time, I was in a bar when I heard about it. It was on a Friday IIRC. I remember watching it on the bar big screen TV.

    Also IIRC, this was the first time the martial "U-S-A, U-S-A!" chant came into vogue.
    Yes it was on a Friday. I watched a show about this yesterday on NBC. They Eurzione and Mark Johnson on it and one them mentioned they thought this was the first time that chant of USA! USA! had been used. I don't ever remember it before that myself.
    I didn't know about that TV part. I bet with all the money TV puts into the Olympics now that wouldn't happen. Still ABC should have showed it live. They assumed a blowout was probably the reason they didn't more than anything.
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    Re: Thirty Years Ago Today 2/22/1980

    I've been in that rink in Lake Placid, it's tiny, now the games have the Canucks palace to play in, that room was probably ready to blow the roof off at the final whistle

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    Re: Thirty Years Ago Today 2/22/1980

    Probably the greatest call in all of sports:

    "Do you believe in miracaaaaales, YES!"

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    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Thirty Years Ago Today 2/22/1980

    Quote Originally Posted by cumberlandreds View Post
    ABC, who covered this Olympics,thought so little of the game that they didn't cover it live. [/URL]
    Damn I am glad to hear this.

    I have gone years with humongous regrets that I didn't see the game live.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

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    1st pick 2022 B.B. draft George Foster's Avatar
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    Re: Thirty Years Ago Today 2/22/1980

    If I'm not mistaken, this Russian team beat the NHL All Stars the summer before. I'm not positive about this but I think I'm right. They might have beat an NHL team.

    Either way, for a bunch of college kids to beat them is one if not the biggest upset in sports history.

    After reading the opening post...was it the NHL all-star team or just another NHL team?
    Not this year...maybe a Wild Card

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    Re: Thirty Years Ago Today 2/22/1980

    In my opinion that game brought the entire country "back". That was the beginning of the end of the recession, the end of the USA getting embarrassed on a world stage (Iran hostage situation) and yes, the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union.

    Those of you who want to argue that I'm embellishing this, don't bother. It's my opinion...I really feel that game was a major turning point in American history.

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    Re: Thirty Years Ago Today 2/22/1980

    Quote Originally Posted by George Foster View Post
    If I'm not mistaken, this Russian team beat the NHL All Stars the summer before. I'm not positive about this but I think I'm right. They might have beat an NHL team.

    Either way, for a bunch of college kids to beat them is one if not the biggest upset in sports history.

    After reading the opening post...was it the NHL all-star team or just another NHL team?
    I saw an NBC segment about this team on Sunday and they mentioned that this Russian team had beaten three NHL teams in exhibition games just before the Olympics started. If the USSR was an open country then I would say many of their players would have been stars in the NHL.
    Reds Fan Since 1971

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    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Thirty Years Ago Today 2/22/1980

    Did anyone off the USA team have a good NHL career?? The only one I remember playing in the NHL was Jim Craig and I think his career was pretty short.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

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    Re: Thirty Years Ago Today 2/22/1980

    Quote Originally Posted by George Anderson View Post
    Did anyone off the USA team have a good NHL career?? The only one I remember playing in the NHL was Jim Craig and I think his career was pretty short.

    Ken Morrow won about 5 Stanley Cups with the Islanders. I think Neil Broton was pretty successful too.
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    Re: Thirty Years Ago Today 2/22/1980

    Bill Baker: Baker helped the U.S. win the gold medal at the 1980 Olympics. In the Americans' game against Sweden, he scored to even the opening game at 2-2 to give the U.S. a tie, which allowed the Americans to advance to the medal round. He played briefly in the NHL before pursuing a career as an oral surgeon and maxillofacial specialist.

    Neal Broten: After helping the U.S. win gold at the 1980 Lake Placid Games, Broten enjoyed a 17-year NHL career. His professional career included becoming the first American to score more than 100 points in a single season (1985-86) and a Stanley Cup title with the New Jersey Devils in 1995. After retiring from hockey for good in 1999, Broten moved to River Falls, Wis., with his wife to help her manage the Sally Broten Horse Company.

    Dave Christian: Christian started his NHL career with the Winnipeg Jets about a week after winning gold at the 1980 Olympics. He later played for the Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and the St. Louis Blues. After his hockey career ended in 1993, Christian turned his focus to coaching. He served as the head coach and general manager of the Fargo-Moorhead Bears from 1998 to 2000.

    Steve Christoff: After helping the U.S. claim gold at the 1980 Lake Placid Games, Christoff entered the NHL with the Minnesota North Stars. In 1982-83, he was traded to the Calgary Flames and then played his final season in the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings in 1983-84. Christoff later worked as a pilot.

    Jim Craig: Craig was the goalie for the U.S. team at the 1980 Olympics. In the game against the Soviets he deflected 36 of 39 shots on goal. After playing in the NHL with the Atlanta Flames, the Boston Bruins and the Minnesota North Stars, Craig retired from hockey in 1984. He later became president of the Boston firm Gold-Medal Marketing.

    Mike Eruzione: Eruzione scored the game-winning goal to lift the U.S. over the Soviet Union at the 1980 Lake Placid Games. He retired from competitive hockey after the Olympics and then went on to be a broadcaster. Eruzione later became an assistant coach for the hockey team at Boston University, where he works as director of special outreach.

    John Harrington: Following the 1980 Olympics, Harrington played in the AHL before rejoining the Americans for the 1984 Sarajevo Games. He retired from hockey after the Olympics and focused on coaching. He coached the men's hockey team at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn., from 1993 to 2008. Harrington coached in the Swiss National League in 2008 and was recently named the head coach of the Slovenia men's national team.

    Mark Johnson: Johnson was pivotal in the American's game against the Soviet Union, scoring goals in the first and third periods to help the U.S. get the win. He played with a slew of NHL teams before ending his playing career in 1992. Johnson then focused his attention to coaching. He served as an assistant coach of the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team from 1996 to 2002, and is currently the head coach of the Badgers women's team.

    Rob McClanahan: McClanahan scored five goals during the 1980 Olympic tournament, during which he suffered a bruise to his upper thigh. He reportedly had an argument with head coach Herb Brooks in Lake Placid that motivated McClanahan to play through his injury. He went on to be a role player in the NHL, and he finished his professional career under Brooks with the New York Rangers in 1984. McClanahan later became a financial broker.

    Ken Morrow: After winning gold with the U.S. hockey team at the 1980 Olympics, Morrow went on to win the 1980 Stanley Cup with the New York Islanders. His feat made him the first player to ever win an Olympic gold medal and an NHL championship in the same season. He was a member of the Islanders' 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1983 Stanley Cup teams before knee injuries forced him to retire during the 1988-89 season. After his player career, Morrow became the director of pro scouting for the Isles in 1993. He was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Game in 1995.

    John O'Callahan: O'Callahan suffered a knee injury just days before the start of the 1980 Olympics, but he recovered enough to return to the ice for the matchup against the Soviet Union. He delivered a big hit in the game that set up a U.S. goal. O'Callahan played in the NHL for the Chicago Blackhawks and the New Jersey Devils before ending his hockey career in 1989. He later focused his career on finances and co-founded Beanpot Financial Services.

    Mark Pavelich: Pavelich recorded an assist on the Americans' game-winning goal in their 1980 Olympic matchup against the Soviet Union. After the Lake Placid Games, Pavelich played in Switzerland before playing for Herb Brooks with the New York Rangers and the Minnesota North Stars. He then played briefly in Europe and with the San Jose Sharks before ending his hockey career in 1992.

    Mike Ramsey: Ramsey was the youngest member of the U.S. hockey team at the 1980 Olympics. After the Lake Placid Games he moved on to the NHL, where he was four-time All-Star with the Buffalo Sabres. He spent 14 seasons with Buffalo before joining the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992-93 and then the Detroit Red Wings in 1994. He retired in 1996 and ran a sporting good store in Minnesota. He also worked in coaching, serving as an assistant coach to the Buffalo Sabres and the Minnesota Wild.

    William "Buzz" Schneider: Schneider played on the "Conehead" line during the 1980 Lake Placid Games along with John Harrington and Mark Pavelich. He scored five goals and three assists throughout the Olympic tournament. Schneider went on to play hockey in Switzerland before retiring in 1983. He later worked as a sales executive and gained a commercial real estate license.

    Dave Silk: Following the 1980 Olympics, Silk joined the New York Rangers. He spent three seasons with the Rangers before being traded to the Boston Bruins in 1983. Silk was later claimed off of waivers by the Detroit Red Wings in 1984, and then signed with the Winnipeg Jets in 1985. Silk retired from hockey in 1991. He then served as an assistant coach to the Boston University men's hockey team before joining the management team at Bear Stearns Investments in Boston.

    Eric Strobel: After the 1980 Olympics, Strobel played briefly in the AHL before a broken ankle ended his career. He returned to his home state of Minnesota, where he worked as a telephone sales executive and coaches youth hockey.

    Bob Suter: Know for his rough play, Suter's hockey career ended soon after the 1980 Olympics. He retired in 1982 having never played in an NHL game. He returned to Madison, Wis., and opened a sporting goods store, coached youth hockey, and later became a part-owner of Capital Ice Arena in a Madison suburb.

    Phil Verchota: After helping the U.S. win gold at the 1980 Lake Placid Games,Verchota -- who played for Brooks at the University of Minnesota -- turned down offers to play in the NHL and instead continued his career in Europe. He played with the U.S. team again at the 1984 Olympics and then retired from hockey following the Games. He later pursued a career in banking.

    Mark Wells: After helping the U.S. win the gold medal at the 1980 Olympics, Wells played in at the minor leagues before retiring in 1982. He later worked as a restaurant manager in Michigan before a rare genetic disease of his spinal cord discs caused him to be bed-ridden for yea

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    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Thirty Years Ago Today 2/22/1980

    Mike Eruzione: Eruzione scored the game-winning goal to lift the U.S. over the Soviet Union at the 1980 Lake Placid Games. He retired from competitive hockey after the Olympics and then went on to be a broadcaster. Eruzione later became an assistant coach for the hockey team at Boston University, where he works as director of special outreach.
    Eruzione sure has parlayed the success of the 1980 team into lifelong success. I don't know how good he actually was as a hockey player, but he is the person most associated (in pop culture) with that team.

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    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Thirty Years Ago Today 2/22/1980

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    Eruzione sure has parlayed the success of the 1980 team into lifelong success. I don't know how good he actually was as a hockey player, but he is the person most associated, in pop culture, with that team.
    I think it is because he was the team captain
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard


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