February 22, 1980 marks the greatest day in American history (no, that’s not a hyperbole). On that day, a group of college kids went up against the greatest hockey team the world has ever seen, and shocked everyone with the biggest upset in sports history.
In 1979 the Soviet hockey team played against an NHL All-Star team that featured some of the best players to ever play the game such as Bobby Clarke, Ken Dryden, Guy Lafleur and Mike Bossy. The Soviets naturally came into our country and kicked the living shit out of the All-Stars, 6-0. This Soviet team was from a different planet, they’d won 5 gold medals in the past 6 Olympics, and they’d won Gold in the past 4. They were the definition of a dynasty, the definition of unbeatable.
Team USA was viewed as an extreme longshot to medal when the games began, but before the start of the games, the Soviets traveled to face team USA in their final exhibition. That night, the Red Army put a 10-3 beating on the Americans in Madison Square Garden, the same building they embarrassed the All-Stars. The Americans shocked everyone by going 4-0-1 in the group stage to set up a date with the Soviets for a shot to play in the gold medal game. After going 5-0, and outscoring their opponents 51-11, the Soviets made the grave mistake of resting up their star players, and under preparing for a USA team they shellacked 10-3 just a few weeks back.
Everyone knows how the game went, Jimmy Craig became an American hero after playing like a stone wall in net, captain Mike Eruzione will forever be recognized with scoring the biggest goal in Olympic hockey history, and the late great coach Herb Brooks will be remembered as the mad genius that constructed the perfect team to end the Soviets reign of terror over the hockey world. This game was not only a victory for America, but it was a victory for the underdogs everywhere. David slaying Goliath doesn’t have a damn thing on what team USA did to those Commy bastards that night.
USA! USA! USA!