I have heard a very nagging comparison in the media since Team USA's win over Canada in men's hockey on Sunday. The media is daring to compare this win to the 1980 Lake Placid Miracle on Ice against the hockey powerhouse of the time—the Soviet Union.
Let me pose a question to you: Is the 2010 win over Canada comparable to the 1980 miracle?
Let's get real. It's not.
For a few reasons.
The political atmosphere at the time was a lot different.
The Cold War was still going on, and the U.S. sort of felt second fiddle to the Soviets at the time.
Do we still feel that way now? No. The United States might as well be running the world.
Last I checked, we aren't fighting in any way, shape, or form with our neighbors to the north. We are actually allies who have a "friendly" sports rivalry.
The 1980 game was an actual, heated rivalry.
The Game Atmosphere
The game against the Soviets wasn't a normal preliminary-round game like this one was.
The game was the semifinal during the medal rounds. Win, you're in the gold medal game. Lose, fight for bronze.
This game: Win and get a high seed. Lose and see what happens. Whatever.
The Players Involved
The Soviets were a hockey powerhouse, to put it lightly. They had every major, famous hockey player on their team. The Soviets had won the gold every year since 1964. They won bronze in 1964. This team was no slouch.
The United States hadn't won a medal since 1960, when they won gold. The U.S. team was filled with amateurs: college hockey players, to be exact. The U.S. was outmatched in every aspect of the game against the Soviets.
Now, the United States has All-Stars: Patrick Kane, Ryan Miller, and Zach Paraise, just to name a few.
Canada does, too: Jerome Ignila, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Chris Pronger, just to name a few of theirs.
I understand the United States was the underdog and was outmatched, but that doesn't mean a few scrappy NHLers couldn't pull this one off.
No one thought the United States could in 1980.
Everyone remembers the 1980 Olympic Games and the U.S. hockey team that won gold. Thirty years later, it is still talked about.
We still know who played and what happened afterward—and a major motion picture was even made.
No one is going to make a motion picture about the 2010 team, who beat Canada in the preliminary rounds.
Yes, there was big hype to this game. We all know. That is because of a friendly rivalry that has developed between the two in the past few Olympics. All we want is bragging rights. Not anything more.
Sorry to break it to you, 2010 USA Hockey. You guys are nothing compared to Jim Craig and Mike Eruzione.