The inspiring story of the team that transcended its sport and united a nation with a new feeling of hope. Based on the true story of one of the greatest moments in sports history, the tale captures a time and place where differences could be settled by games and a cold war could be put on ice. In 1980, the United States Ice Hockey team's coach, Herb Brooks, took a ragtag squad of college kids up against the legendary juggernaut from the Soviet Union at the Olympic Games. Despite the long odds, Team USA carried the pride of a nation yearning from a distraction from world events. With the world watching the team rose to the occasion, prompting broadcaster Al Michaels' now famous question, to the millions viewing at home: Do you believe in miracles? Yes! Written by
Sujit R. Varma
I am the child of two St. Paul east- siders. My father has loved hockey for as long as he can remember. My mom, well, she just likes sports in general. Hockey ruled my life from the very first moments. First my father's practices and games, then my little brother, later on there were boyfriends, friends, high school, and college. Now there is Gophers and Wild. I imagine that hockey will continue to define my life for a very long time.
That said, for Minnesota kids there are legends told to them from the beginning. How Paul Bunyan shaped our lakes and rivers, and lived "Up North", and there is Herb Brooks. Legends that define Minnesota heritage.
Herb Brooks was a man who shaped the way hockey is viewed in Minnesota. A stand out at St. Paul Johnson High School, and at the U. He went to coach his beloved Gophers and work with his idol John Mariucci. Now the ice at Mariucci Arena (not 2 miles from where I sit now) bears tribute to Herby. His coaching techniques are still used and abused throughout the state.
Kurt Russell paid apt tribute to our late leader, and I am positive he would be impressed. I was fortunate enough to get sneak-preview tickets to see Miracle, and I can honestly say I don't remember when I had such a good time at the movies. I don't think I stopped smiling once. Russell's accent was good throughout the movie, but on just a few lines I could have SWORN that he was a Minnesotan. He elongated his vowels very well.
Eddie Cahill did a superb job as Jim Clark. I wondered how exactly he would play someone so torn between immense sadness and undeniable pride. I was even more impressed with his hockey skills. I hope that this helps the very yummy Mr. Cahill move from TV-boyfriend dujor (friends, Sex and the City) to a great movie actor. As it is the only thing that disappointed me was that he was running around the Cities last summer, and I had no idea.
If you are still reading this it goes without saying that I think you should see this movie. Sure you know how it ends, you've probably seen the game at least once on ESPN Classic even if you are old enough to remember it in the first place. The portrayal of our country at such a dark time in the world's history is historically great. Apt tribute is paid to Afghanistan (even if we are repeating the USSR's mistakes now), the Ayatollah, the oil embargo, and the general distrust in government. The Miracle on Ice was a very bright spot in a very dark time, and Miracle does a wonderful job showing just that. To those who say, who outside the US cares? I say hockey fans care. Sports fans care. This is not just a hockey movie (though it is a great one); it is a movie about hard work and perseverance. Isn't that what America really stands for?
So, Bravo Disney. I think Herby would have been pleased. I know that I am.
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