Daddy of All Miracles
Eruzione, the guy that beat the Russians, has two kids on ice.
Recently Al Michaels
uttered the phrase, "Do you believe in miracles?" He was
referring to Dennis Miller saying something on Monday Night Football
that actually made sense and had relevance to what was going on in
the game. Twenty years ago, Al used the same call to describe the
American Olympic hockey team's stunning win over the mighty Soviet
Union. This was when Russian hockey players were known for more than
trying to get into Anna Kournikova's tennis shorts.
- It was literally
one of the greatest moments in American sports history and the
guy that scored the winning goal in the game is still living large
in Boston. Mike Eruzione now serves as a special assistant to
the Boston University hockey program which he starred for in the
late 1970's. He also gives motivational speeches around the country
and basically just enjoys a great life that was made possible
because of that game winning goal way back in 1980. "It was
a great feeling of pride, knowing first of all that you were an
Olympic athlete, then to win a gold medal in your own backyard
made it even that much greater," Eruzione said.
- The Red
White and Blue's shocking win wasn't the only surprising thing
that historic night. How about the fact that the Russians were
trying to talk trash. In English. Think Yakov Smirnoff meets Gary
Payton. "They knew some of the English words. That might
surprise you," Eruzione said. "They knew some of the
more vulgar profanity words we have in this country."
- 1980 was
the heart of the Cold War and tensions between the two countries
were so high that the U.S. boycotted the Summer games in Moscow.
Living conditions in the old Soviet Union weren't that great for
national disgraces, which is how the country treated the hockey
team when they returned without the gold. Eruzione wasn't exactly
worried about possibly sending them to a labor camp in Siberia
though. "We were just glad we beat them and whatever happened
to them happened to them. I didn't think we'd seem them again.
actually did see a couple of his old rivals again however. He
went to Russia in the early 1980's to promote the new board game
Trivial Pursuit, where he made appearances with some of the Russian
star players. "One of the questions was who scored the winning
goal in the 1980 Olympics. I got that one right."
he's trying to do right now is raise his kids in his hometown
where he as attained legendary status. And yes, his two boys are
trying to carry on the family name on the rink. His older son
is a sophomore on his high school team, and his 12-year old is
on the pee wee team that Mike helps coach. "I've always tried
to downplay what I did on the ice. What they do is what they do
and I never expect them to do anything I accomplished. My hope
is that they turn out to be good kids and work hard. I think the
kids are proud of what their dad did-that's part of it. But they
realize I'm just dad."
- To hockey
fans around the country however, he'll always be the guy that
beat the Russians.
is a television sportscaster for Fox and a free-lance writer in
Boston. He has a two-and-a-half year old daughter named Brooke.
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