Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Miracle On Ice & Sophia Loren
Whaa? . . . Bear with me and let THC take a moment to explain.

THC's favorite sportswriter is Joe Posnanski.  He is not claiming that Joe is the best sports analyst or the most accurate sportswriter; what he does believe is the Posnanski is the best writer going today on sports.  He's a joy to read, capturing moments and feelings in a way that resonate emotionally with his readers.

His most recent post is about a documentary, Of Miracles And Men, by his friend John Hock and recently shown on ESPN's 30 On 30 series.  It's the story of the underdog 1980 U.S. Olympic's team's stunning upset of the world-dominating team of the Soviet Union.  THC will always remember that moment as will every American who saw it.  The twist is that Hock tells the story, and tells it with sympathy, from the perspective of the Soviet players.  THC recently saw Of Miracles And Men and recommends it to you.  We learn the story of the birth of the graceful Soviet style of hockey and of the men of the 1980 team and what has happened to them since that game.

Joe Posnanski tells us why be thinks that became known as The Miracle On Ice "will always be the singular sports moment in American history".  Along the way he writes of Hock's interview of Seva Kulushkin in which Hock asks how the Soviet sportswriter reported on all of the drama of the game.

Posnanski writes:

Kulushkin asked, “What is the drama?” And then he said this:
“Once a crazy kid kissed Sophia Loren. And he’s telling for the rest of his life, ‘Oh, I kissed Sophia Loren.
Dramatic pause.
“Ask Sophia Loren if she remembers.”
Another dramatic pause.
“Different point of view.”
I love everything about this quote. I love the imagery of it, of course. I love the small but visible bitterness that still lingers in it. I love the unintentional way that he reveals how painful that loss was.
. . .
We are cold-water throwers, all of us.

The Sophia Loren story is the greatest cold-water throwing I’ve ever seen. It’s utterly beautiful and brilliant. The Miracle on Ice was our seminal sports moment, the closest thing to Greek myth that we have. And he compares the U.S. to a kid kissing Sophia Loren. It’s beautiful. And it’s probably true too. The U.S. did kiss Sophia Loren. Only thing is: She remembers. She definitely remembers.
And for those of you of a younger age who may need a primer on the significance of Sophia Loren take a couple of minutes:

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