BY SHAY RODDY
Let me paint the picture for you. A sold out crowd in Vancouver, waving flags and putting on tremendous displays of nationalism will surround some of the world’s best hockey players today while olympic gold waits in the wings to decorate the sweat and blood that adorns the winners. All while the world watches on TV dying with every pass, faceoff, and shot on goal. All the world’s problems go on hold, because it doesn’t get much better than this. This is sports at its finest.
Whenever the people wearing the red white and blue come into a game as the underdog it promises to be a can’t miss showdown. There is no Cold War and the pros are a part of the Olympics now, but this could rival that unforgettable day in 1980. The one that left Al Michaels asking, “do you believe in miracles?”
Today at 3:00 EST the Americans are in Vancouver to take on the inventors and originators of what has become a popular game here in the States. Canada can’t lose like they did a mere week ago against this American team. They have to go home with gold. Silver would be an incredible disappointment.
The rivalry is there, the talent is there to make everything on the ice perfect.
But what makes today so great is what you’re going to see in the stands. People who bought tickets the very day they came out in hopes that they would get to see this matchup will pack the seats. People who waited their whole lives to see a game like this and dropped $5,000 on a ticket today so they could witness history will file in. Fans as big as fans get will be there, watching every second.
Today will feature the most incredible atmosphere sports has seen in a long time. A mix of nationalism, loyalty to their teams and love for their sport will drive these people to lose any inhibitions you normally might see.
Today’s crowd will shame any Super Bowl, World Series or Finals crowd. On Canadian territory, a game bigger than any player playing it will go down. And for the those who love the game and their country it will be the day’s only focus.
This is why we love sports in this country. This is why it makes us so mad when someone says “it’s just a game”. Because it isn’t just a game. It’s our heart, our pride and now our country.
We can only hope that today we see another moment that can live through generations.
“Do you believe in miracles? YES!”