February 22, 2015, - 1:34 pm

“Do You Believe in Miracles?” 35 Yrs Ago, US Hockey Team Beat Soviets – Where’s the ISIS Hockey Team?

By Debbie Schlussel

Thirty-five years ago, today, on February 22, 1980, the USA Olympic Hockey Team beat the Soviets in the Semi-finals of the Olympic Hockey competition at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, and they went on to win the Gold Medal match against Finland. It was a true Cinderella story, as all of these guys on Team USA were amateurs (and none went on to major stardom in the NHL). They were a rag-tag, working-class bunch who slept on former prison cots and had little glamor and no luxury, unlike American Olympians today, who are coddled pros. And, yet, these working-class stiffs, with all of the odds against them, beat the Soviets, who were professionals supported full time from the cradle by the Communist government.


It was one of those events that marked the return of pride to America during the malaise days of the Jimmy Carter years, one of the first high points on the path to the election of Ronald Reagan and America’s turnaround economically, morally, in the foreign arena, and in many other ways. I remember the boys at my Jewish parochial school dressing up as Team USA for Purim, the Jewish holiday on which kids dress up in costumes. I remember my pride in the non-stop chants, “U-S-A! U-S-A!” And I could hear them in my mind, last week, while I was at a screening of “Red Army,” a documentary about the Soviet Hockey system back in those days. The scenes of the 1980 victory seemed like they were yesterday.

Sadly, they were not yesterday. They were 35 years ago today. As I said in 2010, when I marked the 30th anniversary of this tremendous American sports victory, there is no Al-Qaeda Olympic Hockey Team to beat. And, now, there is no ISIS team to whip. No Hezbollah Team, no Iranian Team. And so on. And, while just a few years later we permanently defeated the Soviet Union–to the point that it no longer exists (though some would beg to differ and cite Vladimir Putin), we won’t defeat the Islamic enemy, the way things are going. Right now, it is defeating us.

It is defeating the West on every front, via unfettered legal and illegal immigration, birthrate, political correctness, multi-culturalism, and every other way. We’ve been invaded from within, as we wasted thousands of American lives and limbs and trillions of dollars on wars we lost in Iraq (unless you consider handing it from a group of Sunni Muslims who hate us to Shi’ite Muslims who hate us a victory) and Afghanistan. And, now, we must fight ISIS which arose from Al-Qaeda in Iraq, whose origins could only be possible because of the void we created by taking out Saddam Hussein and insisting on Shi’ite-controlled “democracy” in its place (instead of a brutal Sunni pro-American, Shah-like dictator, which we should have installed and backed). No matter how many years we had U.S. troops there, that problem would have continued to fester.

And, then, back in 1980, even Jimmy Carter was willing to call out the enemy by name: Communism. The Soviet Union. Today’s Jimmy Carter, Barack Hussein Obama, is far worse than his peanut-farming alter ego. He won’t ever mention the enemy. He claims it’s not Islam. He claims it’s not Islamic. He won’t mention the words Islamic and terrorism in the same sentence. He won’t even use the fictional term, “Islamist,” used by many so-called “conservatives” who want to pretend that there is a separate religion and set of mosques called, “Islamism.” That there are “radical Islamists,” instead of acknowledging the truth: that Islam is radical, and that this phony term is a redundant fakery. (Those that use these terms, by the way, are as much in denial as Barack Obama and completely hypocritical when they insist on using these terms while, at the same time, criticizing Obama.)

In 1980, the pro-Soviet left in America was weak, far weaker than they are today. Today, they are in power and have even the Republicans cowering to the point that most of them are attacking Rudy Giuliani for daring question the love of this country by a President who is the biggest critic of this country and the biggest ass-kisser of our enemy. The American left yesterday was a fringe, even with Jimmy Carter in power. Today, the American left is in power like they never were before. And half of America (or more) is united with them in ass-kissing the enemy and aiding and abetting the enemies from within.

So, we will never ever have another victory like the 1980 Miracle on Ice. That’s what makes it so special, and yet so sad to remember that 35 years later, America today is no longer the America we had then, even under the miserable conditions of the Jimmy Carter Presidency. While I celebrate what happened in 1980, I also reminisce on the America that was and, sadly, won’t be again.

Even if there were an ISIS Hockey Team to beat or an Al-Qaeda or Hezbollah Hockey Team (remember, those two groups are just as dangerous and even more so to America), the current establishment of media, entertainment and pop culture, and government (including willing Republicans), America would not be allowed to cheer a victory over them. If we did, we’d be called “racist” (even though Islam is not a race, it is a cultish set of beliefs attracting many idiots and evil-doers of all races), and we’d be called “bigots” (even though it is not bigotry to be alarmed by a cult that wants to destroy you and beheads and burns people alive). And we’d be forced to have some “Muslim-Americans” (who are Muslim first and openly support jihad) on the hockey team–you know, just to show our diversity. And the team would be informed that it could not win and would have to throw the game–you know, lest we offend the Muslims around the world who wish to erase us from the face of the earth.

So, be proud of the 1980 US Olympic hockey victory over the Soviet Union. But don’t be too proud of what we’ve become since then.

In 1981, after the U.S. hostages were released from 444 days in captivity from Iran, they were shown a highlight film of what they missed. The highlight of the highlights was the US Olympic hockey victory over the Soviets.

If there were U.S. hostages like them today, they probably wouldn’t be released alive and in one piece. And if they were, what would be on the highlight reel? Would there be any highlights to speak of?

Hard to tell.


Here are some highlights of what I wrote five years ago on the 30th anniversary of this miraculous victory on ice, some of which I repeated above, but some of which is different:

Thirty years ago today, on February 22, 1980, the first major event in the Reagan Revolution happened. Despite Jimmy Carter’s “malaise days” speech and his admonition to Americans that they shouldn’t expect their kids to have a better future than they had, a group of working class kids, who slept on old prison cots at Lake Placid, beat the Soviet Union’s professional hockey team in the hockey semi-finals at the Olympic Winter Games. Al Michaels’ famous, “Do You Believe in Miracles? YES!” lives on, as do chants of “USA! USA! USA!” And ultimately, the team went on to win the Olympic Gold Medal against Finland in the finals. I was a kid then, and boys at my school dressed up as the U.S. Olympic Hockey team for the Jewish holiday of Purim (on which kids wear costumes, as on Halloween).

In January 1981, when Americans, held hostage in Iran at the time of the 1980 Miracle, returned home after 444 days in captivity from Islamic captors, they were shown a video of what they missed. Many of them said the highlight of that film was the scene of Americans beating the Soviets. But it wasn’t just that we beat them. It’s that our amateurs beat their professionals, who’d bean unbeaten for eons. Plus, it was the first major event in which Americans started to take pride in their country again, amid a horribly ineffective President, the hostages in Iran, double-digit inflation, a depressed auto industry under attack from cheap Japanese cars, and rising gas prices. . . .

The 1980 team, led by captain Mike Eruzione, were not a group of spoiled professionals playing spoiled professionals. That’s strictly what yesterday’s hockey game between the U.S. and Canada was. It had no meaning or significance, unlike the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” and the team coached by Herb Brooks to a David versus Goliath victory. In contrast, while some went on to play in the NHL after their Olympic victory, many on the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team never made it big or had a multi-million (or even multi-thousand) dollar professional hockey contract. Instead, they were hungry, young, mostly working class kids who lived everyday lives after the fact.

As I wrote in my 2004 review of the movie, “Miracle” (which I recommend to anyone who wants to learn about the 1980 Miracle on Ice), the 1980 team

had spunk, sparkle, and an underdog hunger to win for the U.S. . . .

“Miracle” shows the grueling conditioning Brooks put the team through. It’s doubtful today’s soft pros could withstand a lick of it.

The 1980 team was tough and gritty. They had no product endorsements or part-time jobs by Home Depot and Staples. They were no billions in tax subsidies. 1980 Olympians slept in converted prisons on prison cots, and organizers nearly declared bankruptcy on a $168 million budget. There were no $28 million opening ceremonies or $2 million temporary Olympic cauldrons and sculptures.

But there was heavy American pride.

The U.S. players included guys, like goalie Jim Craig, whose laid-off father desperately needed him to forgo the Olympics for the money an NHL career would provide. They beat the Soviets when months earlier an NHL All-Star team could not. (Get your own custom hockey jerseys, just like members of the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team.)

And the team included players like my friend, Mark Wells, who scored three goals as a member of the USA Hockey Team, but never made it big. As I’ve written on this site, he lives in the Detroit area where, for years after the Olympic victory, he slaved nights as a shift manager for Ram’s Horn 24-hour Restaurants. . . .

The 1980 win was a victory over Communist tyranny. And there’s no hockey match-up on the horizon between us and Islamic terrorist groups.

Do you believe in miracles? Yes. But the one that happened thirty years ago today isn’t likely to be repeated anytime soon . . . if ever. And that’s a tragedy, especially since we have Jimmy Carter’s re-run now occupying the White House.

Sports Illustrated columnist Joe Posnanski has a great “10 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About the 1980 Miracle on Ice.”

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33 Responses

I agree with Rudy Guiliani – and I’m glad to see if he doubled down and is unrepentant in his criticism.

I felt so ticked off by what the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank wrote, I stated that man who apologizes every which way for our enemies is no patriot and someone who can’t stand up for America isn’t its friend.

That’s Obama and sad to say the victory of our Olympic Ice Hockey Team is as good as its going to ever get. Not that we shouldn’t be proud of them. We should be.

But too many people in this country – such as those in our mass media – today will side with its enemies, in particular this President and won’t stand up for it.

NormanF on February 22, 2015 at 1:47 pm

Btw, when Guiliani was asked by Prince Waleed’s network’s Megyn Kelly to apologize, he not only refused to retract his remarks, he went further:

“Not at all. I want to repeat it,” Giuliani said. “The reality is, from all that I can see of this President, all that I’ve heard of him, he apologizes for America, he criticizes America. … This is an American President I’ve never seen before.”

Exactly. And what is wrong with what he said? This is Obama in a nutshell and a lot of Americans have been feeling that way for years now. Guiliani only brought the discontent into the light of day. The man has nothing good to say about America or its values, with which he seems to find fault. We have every right to criticize him and question his patriotism. Even Jimmy Carter, arguably our worst President, never had the kind of loathing for this country exhibited by Obama. This made up controversy tells us more about our elites who rushed to defend Obama than it does about the man they attacked for daring to be forthright about him.

NormanF on February 22, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    This POTUS is a Traitor. Period. Wake up, America!

    Occam's Tool on February 22, 2015 at 11:31 pm

      You are wrong. The DOTUS is not a traitor. To be a traitor, you must have first been a true citizen of the country. He is, rather, a trojan horse groomed by traitors, to assimilate, infiltrate and destroy from within. Of course, he would not be succeeding, if it weren’t for the ignorance of the brain dead AmeriKKan populace.

      Tribuckeye on February 23, 2015 at 10:45 am

There is nothing wrong with Guiliani’s statement. He is only stating the obvious. The president is the spokesperson for the country. It is his job to represent the country, not to belittle it to the world, which is what he consistently does. There is not one thing he has done to further our interests. From turning our space program into a “Muslim outreach program” to gutting the military in the face of the current threats to running massive deficits on useless programs to vetoing the keystone pipeline, which should not even be an issue since no federal money is really involved and there are thousands of pipelines in use. Apparently our energy independence depends on some pervert, Tim Steyer, with a fetish for “Global Warming” withholding political contributions to Obama & Co.
Of course this should have been obvious from the beginning with Reverend Write to his ugly wife’s “for the first time I have been proud of my country” comment. Notice how violently he reacts to Israel’s representation to congress while hosting Muslims at the Whitehouse. Not just Muslims but outspoken American/Israel/western/Jewish hating Muslims that he has no problem with. You know, like the one that thought Israel should be investigated for its role in 9/11.
Other than that, I don’t know why anyone would think he doesn’t like America. Why is anyone, including conservatives, afraid to touch that? I think he should be commended for stating it, even if he is only stating the obvious. I guess it’s like that smelly fart at a formal event that you are supposed to be too polite to mention.

jerry d on February 22, 2015 at 2:38 pm

Actually Ken morrow went from the Olympic championship to the islanders. I was a fan of his teams and saw him win four Stanley cups in a row. Also first player to win gold and a Stanley cup in same year.

Plus mark Johnson coached women’s champuons twice. He is also from the Johnson family that makes hockey sticks,

Glen Benjamin on February 22, 2015 at 3:40 pm

There are no “Miracles on Ice” now. The United States can only look to its past to see such wonders. We now live in the “Age of Barack Obama”, in which what was of national value either no longer exists or is impugned.

Worry on February 22, 2015 at 4:18 pm

This whole Obola thing is surreal.

DS_ROCKS! on February 22, 2015 at 5:05 pm

Well, today the situation is much more difficult because the victory will have to be won against a home team.

thatsallfolks on February 22, 2015 at 5:08 pm

Yes, it’s sad that America is divided and a dangerous fight to have because it threatens unity which is why people instinctively pull away but that’s the deal.

thatsallfolks on February 22, 2015 at 5:08 pm

That’s how Islam works.

thatsallfolks on February 22, 2015 at 5:09 pm

It’s how it worked in Mecca. It’s how it’s working in Europe and it’s how it works in America.

thatsallfolks on February 22, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Since Obama has decided to transform America I really think it’s way past time people start to think of ways to transform it back into something they can recognize without feeling disloyal to the man who wants to transform the very thing they pledged allegiance to in the first place.

thatsallfolks on February 22, 2015 at 5:20 pm

I mean how does that make sense on any planet? At any time? And least of all with this guy running things. A guy who can’t even get a website working with all the government’s resources and all the government’s men.

What kind of a stupid patriotism is that?

thatsallfolks on February 22, 2015 at 5:24 pm

Off topic-

I see where civil rights groups are going to protest the Oscars because no Blacks or Black movie was nominated. This entitled culture is repulsive. First of all, it is an Award Show, superficial is of no relevance in life at all. The actors have their awards-i.e Big Paychecks, comps, etc.

Second-Who gives anyone the right to be nominated, maybe there weren’t any Blacks worthy of nomination. Did you ever consider that protesters ? No they rather whine, bitch, and attempt to ruin an American tradition that is enjoyed by many.

These types of people do a real injustice to civil rights, its become nothing but tool to bully and try to make people fell guilty about absolutely nothing. If blowing sunshine up some actors or actresses asses is so important go make your own Academy show. Centric or B.E.t would gladly host it.

Also, if a Black person got a nomination after this bullshit, would you feel it was earned? Not really.

Welcome to the U.S.E. United States of Entitlements.

Un-Bee-leave-Able on February 22, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Just as bad, when the Jackie Robinson Little League team lost their title for cheating. Virtually every politician defended them, saying these young liars didn’t know they were violating the rules about using out-of-district players.

    The kids didn’t know? They didn’t know that some of their players didn’t live within the geographical boundaries? The kids from out-of-district didn’t know they were out of district?

    Of course they knew, but this is where things are at now.

    Morkey on February 22, 2015 at 5:55 pm

      You are right. At eleven these kids are not dumb. Plus they are old enough to know that some of their team mates did not live in the area. All kids talk, yet they were probably told to shut up. Plus they also thought they could get away with it and winning is all that matters. So screw the rules.

      Glen Benjamin on February 22, 2015 at 7:56 pm

I consider the 1980 winter Olympics the last one. Since then it’s become so corrupt, commercial and political. If I want to watch spoiled professionals play a sport, all I have to do is turn on the TV any time, any day. I don’t need that in the Olympics too.

TOMMY THOMAS on February 22, 2015 at 6:26 pm

I will never forget the last few minutes of that game. The Soviets leveled some of the most wicked hard body checks on the USA team I’ve ever seen. I thought they were going to crush every bone in their bodies.

But it was not enough; just a desperate attempt to let the US team know who they were playing against.

If you watch the video, look at the last two minutes and the body checks the Soviets leveled on team USA. Perhaps the youth of this team offered them the agility to withstand those hits. I’ll never forget it because it hurt to watch even though we all knew the USA team had the victory firmly in hand.


There is NO Santa Claus (aka TINSC)

There is NO Santa Claus on February 22, 2015 at 10:17 pm

The biggest problem is that Obama supports the 3 major things which can destroy any country:

1. Class Struggle,
2. Race conflict,
3. Religion conflict.

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hotel on February 23, 2015 at 2:16 am

The Youtube video is no longer available from this site. When you try to watch it there is some error indicating the owner of the video only wants it to be available from YouTube. You can watch it here:


I_AM_ME on February 23, 2015 at 9:31 am

Due to the Kenyan’s immigration policies, we’ll probably need to fight ISIS and the muzzy’s on our soil.

Dearborn is on my “watch list”.

Al from West Bloomfield, MI on February 23, 2015 at 9:57 am

The ISIS hockey team is in the penalty box. Two minutes each, for slashing.

Tribuckeye on February 23, 2015 at 10:46 am

Love the Post. I’m a hockey fanatic. My team is the NY Rangers. There is a mediocre film about the victory called Miracle with Kurt Russell playing the coach Herb Brooks, who tragically died young in an auto accident. I love Rudy Giuliani and voted for him twice and served as a lawyer for the City while he was in Office. He was a great Mayor as was Bloomberg (who traveled to Israel when Hussein O put a travel ban on to support Israel).

Debbie, if you have any insight or opinion on this topic, please post about it. Why were Joan Rivers and Harold Ramis, two proud Jews and outspoken supporters of Israel not included in the in memoriam tribute as the Oscars yesterday? Their were people included who nobody ever heard of. But Joan, who invented the red carpet and appeared as Dot Matrix, and voiced other characters and was a legend, was not included. Ramis as you know, changed cinematic comedy forever with Animal House, Ghostbusters, Caddyshack, National Lampoon, Groundhog day, Meatballs, etc. was not good enough, or is it too Jewish to include? By the way, the young man who won for some sort of screenplay award, Graham Moore is Jewish according to my NJ/NY Jewish news magazine, the Jewish Standard, not to be confused with the Jewish Standard of Los Angeles.

Susan on February 23, 2015 at 12:11 pm


Skunky on February 23, 2015 at 6:24 pm

Well, I hope this goes through…

I know BU is very proud of that Olympic team. They are legends here in Beantown.

What a TOTALLY different America it is now. Back then you could smoke when & where you wanted…I didn’t…I wasn’t even a teen then but I resent the loss of the freedom to if I wanted to…& we were not choked by PC nonsense. Men were more like men too.

If there were an ISIS team, Obama-Putin would be their biggest fan.

And all the Islamofascist SNAFUs around the Globe keeps what Russia is doing in Ukraine all under the radar when it really shouldn’t be. & Putin pounced because how of weak USA has gotten…& that started even before GWB was elected.

Skunky on February 23, 2015 at 6:32 pm


    Let me add that to this day, NCAA Hockey is my favorite. I don’t mind the NHL, but I’d rather watch an NCAA Hockey game any day when given the choice.

    Back in the day, there weren’t as many NCAA hockey teams as there are today. Even then, most NCAA hockey teams had on average 1/3 of their roster made up of Canadian citizens (eligible for team Canada). If the 1980 tournament conditions were applied today, the USA would have a lot more talent to choose from. Back in 1980, choosing a team USA from the ranks of the NCAA was slim pickins.

    Putting politics aside and recognizing the small talent pool eligible for the “amateur” Olympics of the day, the USA victory was more miraculous than anyone can possibly imagine.

    Today, NCAA Hockey is still one of the very best sports to watch. There are tribulations to be sure. The North Dakota Fighting Sioux can’t put the likeness of an Indian Chief on their jerseys because it hurts some Liberals’ iddy biddy feelings. (Not the Sioux who have long supported the team). Penn State started an NCAA hockey program because they were afraid they’d be handed the “death penalty” in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. (This is my speculation. I won’t go into detail.)

    But still! Ferris State made the Frozen Four last year and the little schools still beat the schools with the mega-bucks sports programs. The “miracle on ice” continues to this day in NCAA hockey. All you have to do is watch it and you will see it.

    If you know that BU is proud of their contribution to the 1980 Team USA gold medal campaign, watch NCAA hockey. It’s very different from the NHL. If you like sports and hockey, Ithink you’ll like NCAA hockey.

    I wish I had more time to follow NCAA hockey closely, but you can always keep abreast of the action at U.S. College Hockey Online


    NCAA hockey is really fun stuff. If you like the sport, I encourage you to follow it.


    There is NO Santa Claus (aka TINSC)

    There is NO Santa Claus` on February 23, 2015 at 11:25 pm

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