On Friday, February 22nd during the 1980 Winter Olympic Games being held in Lake Placid, New York; the United States hockey team did the impossible. A very young team of American hockey players, Led by coach Herb Brooks took on the most dominate team ever in international Hockey - the Soviet Union. They did so and WON! No one thought it was possible, except maybe coach Brooks. I remember the day well, considering it was decades ago. While the game was played in the afternoon ABC delayed it for prime-time, there was no CNN or internet to spoil the surprise. It also meant I could watch the game after school with my dad.
I wasn't a hockey fan, but by Friday night it would have been un-American not to watch. I sat in our living room with my dad mesmerized by this game I didn't understand. While the sport was a mystery, at 9 years of age I did understand that the Soviets were the bad guys; and we were the good guys. I also knew we were the underdog, but had a team that was in a medal round. That alone was amazing and unexpected.
The periods passed with the US team playing well, but losing. With 10 minutes on the clock the US scored, making it a 4 to 3 lead. While details like that are foggy for me, what came to pass in the final 10 seconds of the game are not. As the clocked ticked away I remember Al Michaels wildly excited as he screamed:
Eleven seconds, you've got ten seconds, the countdown going on right now! Morrow, up to Silk. Five seconds left in the game. Do you believe in miracles?...YES!
At that moment my dad and I went nuts, just as the stadium had in Lake Placid. It was an incredible moment that probably can't be understood by anyone born after 1980. It was just a moment in history where our nation came together in glorious happy unity to celebrate a good moment instead of a bad one. Alas those moments are rare and seldom last.
Enjoy that last minute of the game. Relive the moment. A moment where we all could ask "Do you believe in miracles," and answer "YES!"