If I have to tell you what the Miracle on Ice is, then you are on the wrong website. The movie Miracle was based on the unbelievable win by the Americans over the heavily favored Soviet Union in the Lake Placid Olympics. Herb Brooks took a handful of college kids, most of whom hated each other because they had played against each other in college, and won an Olympic gold metal.
For this article, it would have been easy to simply quote Al Michaels' famous line, "Do you believe in miracles?" That line always, and I mean always, brings a tear to my eye. The enormity of the situation, the political climate at the time, the socio-economic status of the country in 1980, the fact that the Soviet Union had just pounded the USA in a pre-Olympic exhibition in New York City all added up to one of the most remarkable moments in the history of sports. And Michaels' call of the American's win is classic.
It was so classic, in fact, that it is the one time that commentary was not re-recorded for the movie. Michaels felt he would not be able to duplicate the emotion of the moment accurately enough, so they used the original call for the final seconds of the game in the movie.
For those of you who do not know much about Herb Brooks, he was a very tough and very smart guy. The scenes in the movie of him physically abusing his players with drills and exercises are very accurate. Everything he did had a purpose and usually that purpose was to win. At one point, his assistant coach asks the team doctor, who had been with Brooks for years, why Brooks was being so cruel to his team. The doctor remarked that maybe if all the players hated him, Brooks, they will forget that they hate each other.
There is a scene during the opening rounds of the Olympic tournament when Brooks accuses one of his best players of quitting on the team because of an injury. The accusation serves to inspire the team, who go on to tie that game. It is a calculated move, as we discover when Brooks asks his assistant coach, "Think that will fire them up?"
Before the game with the USSR, Herb Brooks delivers an inspiring speech to his players, who are clear underdogs in the match against the Soviets.
"Great moments are born from great opportunity. And that's what you have here, tonight, boys. That's what you've earned here tonight. One game. If we played 'em ten times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight. Tonight, we skate with them. Tonight, we stay with them. And we shut them down because we can! Tonight, WE are the greatest hockey team in the world. You were born to be hockey players, every one of you, and you were meant to be here tonight. This is your time. Their time is done. It's over. I'm sick and tired of hearing about what a great hockey team the Soviets have. Screw 'em. This is your time. Now go out there and take it."