Archive for the ‘Miracle references’ Category

Miracle on the Fourth of July: a quick guide to Team USA-related entertainment

July 4, 2009

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If you want to combine your favorite hobby (obsessing over hockey) with a thematic celebration of the Fourth of July, we have a quick guide of some Miracle on Ice-related entertainment. We even developed an ADVANCED* and SOPHISTICATED system to rate their quality.

*Any word in ALL CAPS in this post will be sarcastic.

“Miracle” – the Disney movie starring Kurt Russell as Herb Brooks

For non-hockey fans, “Miracle” is probably a nauseating load of sports movie cliches. For American hockey fans like us, it is one of the best serious hockey movies ever made. Russell did an uncanny job portraying Brooks, even kind of looking like him and wearing those absurd pants.

Review: “If you lose this game don’t watch this movie at least once, you’ll TAKE IT TO YOUR GRAVE.”

“The Boys of Winter” by Wayne Coffey

When people re-tell the story of the Miracle on Ice, they make it seem like the Americans just learned to skate last week. Like a Jamaican bobsled team or something.

The truth is that Herb Brooks collected a bunch of plucky winners from the college hockey ranks to play a system he thought could give the Russians fits. Was it still improbable? Of course! But they were better than you maybe thought.

This book tells their story with great, often hilarious and sometimes tragic, detail.

Review: Nine boisterous Mike Eruzione celebrations out of ten.

The Miracle on Ice Made-for-TV movie (can be streamed on Netflix, if you hate yourself/America/the idea of decent film making.)

Don’t bother.

Review: Worse than allowing a last second goal and then benching the best goalie in the world.

Do You Believe in Miracles? The Story of the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team

Just awesome. There really isn’t much more you can say about this great HBO documentary. It includes archival footage of the game as well as “nature of the time” clips of people waiting desperately for gas. There are player interviews from both sides and everything you’d expect from a great documentary.

Review: The gold medal of Miracle on Ice culture.

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All-Decade Team: Coach

February 3, 2009

Somewhere in the cosmos, Herb Brooks’ soul just blew a whistle and screamed “Again!” at my taking-the-Finns-lightly self. When imaging an All-Decade Team, how could the coach be forgotten? Stunning.

What makes a coach of the decade candidate? Let me see:

1. Championships

Let’s face it, for head coaches it’s all about raising the Cup. Sure, it takes a hell of a team to win a title, but usually that team will face at least one worthy adversary. At least one bit of turmoil. It’s the great coaches who can mold a lump of clay potential into a vase of victory.

(The lights just turned out. Jim Carrey‘s chubby friend from The Truman Show just looked at coach Brooks with that, “wait, you’re STILL making them do Herbies?” expression and people are barfing on the ice.)

Emmerich to Russell: “Did that chubby guy just call me ‘that chubby friend’?”

2. Longevity

Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno have a lot of great things in common, but there might be one similarity that gets them atop the coaching win ranks: no one in their right mind would fire them. Really, the two goals of any coach is to keep his or her job and win.

(Ted Nolan just nodded sadly)

Lindy Ruff knows nothing of what mere mortals call “unemployment.”

3. Lemons to Lemonade-ability

Sadly, the third category decides an insane amount of Coach of the Year victories. Still, there are stretches where a good coach can make a ragtag bunch of misfits believe they can defeat the finest collection of Russian hockey players ever built.

(Whoops, wait, that’s “Miracle” again.)

ANYWAY, while Lemons to Lemonade-ability isn’t everything … it does say something about a coach. So it at least should be in the discussion.

4. Wins

Not quite as good as championships, but they’re pretty cool too.

Things that will NOT determine Coach of the Decade

1. Jack Adams awards

The sad irony of coach of the year awards is that the “of the year” is quite profound. Those guys lose their jobs like hot cakes. While trophies don’t always go to the rightful owner, it’s usually safe to say that the Norris trophy winner still had at least a very good season. That’s why those awards are listed in those other posts.

But when Scotty Bowman’s only won something twice, you know that it’s either a) insanely difficult to win or b) being decided by sleepy journalists.

Marc Crawford … probably not gonna make it.

2. Sound bytes/looks/other superfluousness

John Tortorella might be a great quote; Ron Wilson fights with the media to the amusement of all. But those two have an equal opportunity to lose to bland coaches like Jacques Lemaire and troll-like coaches including Barry Trotz.

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So, the idea of including coach of the year literally came to me within the last hour. Besides proving how dumb I am, it provides a big question: which coaches deserve to be considered for Coach of the Decade? I’d love to hear your suggestions. In fact, I think I might be in over my head so any recommendations would earn disproportionate friendliness.

(Screams to doubtful Herb Brooks: I AM A HOCKEY BLOGGER!)