Hard to believe it’s been 31 years since the Miracle on Ice. I was 13 years old and I remember the game wasn’t even aired live on TV — it was tape delayed — I watched it later in the afternoon. I suppose it was a given that the Russians would put the US through a wood chipper so there was no network clamor to air it live. But Russia’s easy win wasn’t to be, and the US won 4-3.

Legend has it that White House aides had tie Jimmy Carter to a chair to keep him from calling Leonid Brezhnev to apologize for the US victory.

Here’s the final minute of what for my money is the greatest moment in sports history:


20 Responses to “31 Years Ago Today: The Miracle on Ice”

  1. nannykins on February 23rd, 2011 5:53 pm

    The all time greatest sports moment – EVER!!! I still cry every time I watch it and just now was no exception. USA! USA! USA!

    Doug, are you sure Zero hasn't apologized for this in his talks with the Russians? Seems he's apologized to everyone else.

  2. Marshall_Will on February 23rd, 2011 6:15 pm

    True story. I was in Boot Camp for the Navy when this took place so I didn't get to see it Live. But they had an "advancement board" and one of the questions was "What is the most significant moment in U.S Olympic Sports History!?"

    By answering this event I was meritoriously advanced to E-2! I can't tell you how proud everyone from the recruits on up to the sr. officers were of that team! Thanks for remembering Doug.

  3. SignPainterGuy on February 23rd, 2011 6:56 pm

    Probably the only easy promotion you ever got !! Congrats !

  4. Marshall_Will on February 23rd, 2011 8:31 pm

    Right, and it was an add'l $17 a month too!

    Even though I 'am', no one at the time really need be a big hockey fan to come away feeling pride in that! Blackhawks guy. We always took the kids to the WHL "Winterhawks" games in Portland.

    Kind of like Triple A. I played from ages 7 to 18. Most Americans don't go anywhere though, other than THESE guys!

  5. Mike S. on February 24th, 2011 8:57 pm


    I was on deployment onboard the U.S.S. Forrestal (CV-59) somewhere in the Eastern Med when it happened. AFRTS sent a copy of the broadcast to the ship shortly thereafter and we all got to watch it over the ship's TV station.

  6. Doug on February 23rd, 2011 7:34 pm

    Not sure 0 hasn't apologized retroactively — but it might be worth checking!

  7. SignPainterGuy on February 23rd, 2011 6:12 pm

    Hmmmm, is there documentation to prove that Jimmah Cahtuh DIDN`T apologize for our victory ?! Ya got me wondering now !

    Yeah, I remember that game, missed it `cause I was working, but I loved it anyhows ! Always wondered, how many Russian team members were taken out and shot or at least lost their homes or something serious !? And yes, I serious !

    On a lighter note, in the `60`s when ABC`s Wide World of Sports was always tape-delayed, they wouldn`t show the Indy 500 till two weeks later. My Aunt who lived in Indy would mail me the paper, I`d read up on details, and then call stuff just before it happened as my friends and I watched on the tube ! Heh, cool till they found out !

  8. Scott B on February 23rd, 2011 6:20 pm

    Thanks Coach Brooks! (We miss you.)

  9. nannykins on February 23rd, 2011 6:47 pm

    My husband got a chance to meet and interview Coach Brooks a couple months before he died. He just loved the opportunity to talk hockey and when the subject of Miracle on Ice came up he just beamed. Very special time for my hubby and one he will always treasure.

  10. SignPainterGuy on February 23rd, 2011 7:04 pm

    Good for your hubby ! I hope he saved a recording !

  11. Nanny on February 23rd, 2011 9:06 pm

    Oh yeah – he's got it along with thousands of other interviews – all on tape – they fill boxes in my basement. But he treasurers them all including Scotty Bowman, Gordie Howe, Bob Probert, Sergie Federov and an absolutely hysterical interview with Joey Kocur and Kris Draper. Hockey is a special sport with great personalities and great people. No other sport matches the grueling playoff system they have to capture the Stanley Cup.

  12. SignPainterGuy on February 24th, 2011 12:23 am

    We had a pro (ish) hockey team for a few years. The old, poorly designed and run multi-use civic center had to accommodate basketball, concerts, trade shows AND hockey, which meant the rink had to be set up and torn down every day or two. Hockey isn`t big here in the south anyway and add the expense, it was doomed from the get-go ! Bummer !

  13. Doug on February 23rd, 2011 7:34 pm

    That's cool! Coach Brooks was tough as nails on his players but most of the players say that if he hadn't been, they would never have accomplished what they did.

  14. Nanny on February 23rd, 2011 9:09 pm

    Have you ever seen the glare of U of M Wolverines Red Berenson? That is the glare of Herb Brooks. Both superb, intense coaches who command hard work and respect.

  15. Joe Redfield on February 23rd, 2011 8:49 pm

    Progressives absolutely hated this at the time…and they still do. An appropriate use of this in conversation would be, "…Scott Walker winning the 2012 Presidential election would be like the US winning the hockey gold in 1980…" Try it the next time you talk to a Progressive(if you're unlucky enough to have to talk to one). They'll get all queasy and defensive, and soon slink away to their dens.

  16. Nanny on February 23rd, 2011 9:13 pm

    Yeah what a bunch phonies. They cloaked themselves in the glory of that win and waved the US flag all the while seething that we beat the bastards. So typical of the progressives who want an "even playing field". Well that win was the most lop sided playing field ever in the history of sports. The only thing comparable is David slaying Goliath. But then again progs don't like religion either so they can't accept that explanation.

  17. Marshall_Will on February 23rd, 2011 9:14 pm

    Joe Redfield,

    Brilliant! In fact you can apply that as 'liberally' as you see FIT!

    Some of Doug's younger and more enterprising readers could turn that into an 'app'. Example: Liberal yahoo is blathering on about Social Justice ( and… this could take awhile! ) But what to do!?

    Since Billy Mays is dead, we'll get that other Aussie sounding dude to shill it. "Woi jus' plug in year' Miracle On Ice App. and you'll be on year' whey in NO time mate!" But call Now…

  18. SignPainterGuy on February 24th, 2011 12:16 am

    Good on ya, mate ! I laike that !

  19. OK_Loyalist on February 24th, 2011 2:06 am


    You always have great stories to share. 🙂

  20. nannykins on February 24th, 2011 11:42 am

    Thanks to 35+ years on the road as a hockey wife/mom/cheerleader!