Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy the USA men’s hockey team beat Canada in the Olympics. To Canada where there is a real pride of ownership in the game, the loss yesterday was a very big thing. But to be very clear, what the U.S.A. team win means yesterday is not and cannot possibly ever be seen as on the same level as the successes of the 1980 U.S.A. Olympic team. Not even if the 2010 team ultimately wins the Gold.
The U.S.A. Women’s team is playing in the Simi-finals. That’s a big story. You see, the women’s team is not a bunch of professional players. Neither was the 1980 men’s team Herb Brooks coached to a gold medal win over the very senior, very experienced Russian team. I love the Olympics for the spirit of athleticism that is about the purity of amateur competition. Pulling a bunch of NHL players together on a U.S. team to play a bunch of NHL players on a Canadian team is just another NHL game. If you like NHL hockey then you get bonus play.
It’s the women playing on the U.S. team that deserve attention for carrying on the true Olympic tradition. I would love to be able to feel the same way about the men’s team, but we are all cheated out of that possibility. Therefore, all that’s left to say is, You Go Girls!