The need to divide the nation over a team built on unity explains everything wrong with today’s media.
This weekend was the 40th anniversary of the greatest sports story in this country’s history. (You can @-me to try to debate me on this, but it is futile.) In 1980, a group of upstart, hardscrabble collegians faced the superpower of the hockey world, the USSR, and upended the hockey world and helped to rejuvenate this nation, after a decade of social strife and economic morass. It was a uniquely unifying event, one that brought the nation together.
And now, the press wants to cleave apart that bond over the team wearing hats.
On Friday, President Trump held a rally and invited the members of The Miracle On Ice up on stage with him. The players donned the familiar red MAGA hats, and the press promptly flipped their lids. Suddenly, this team that all of America has embraced for decades was declared to be a triggering and divisive entity. I was going to say — imagine that a team representing this nation of liberty would be declared un-American for choosing to show up with the leader of the nation. You do not have to imagine; the press displayed just that for us.
The 1980 Team has a twitter account that posted pictures from the rally with the famous quote attributed to the team about the jerseys they wore — ”The name on the front is more important than the name on the back.’’ Yahoo Sports weighed in with its take; ”Juxtaposing a famous quote about unity with photos of the players in hats supporting the most divisive president in recent memory didn’t go over well with many fans.’’
Sportswriter Rick Reilly saw the event and co-opted the famous play-by-play call — ‘’Do you believe in scumbags?’’ Journalist Soledad O’Brien had many words of disgust over the appearance. ”Once a symbol of American unity. What an embarrassment.’’
It basically sounds as if they want to impeach their gold medals.
In 1980, these under-skilled, overmatched skaters took down a corruptly supported powerhouse that represented a Soviet system of government. Four decades later, the Democrats have a front-running candidate who is espousing many policies from that very system – and they want to condemn the athletes for expressing themselves freely in support of a standing president. It is so backward as to become surreal.
What is most amazing is how these people fail to see they are the ones being divisive. This team represents a country of liberty, where you are free to choose which politicians you want to support. To declare that an American team appearing with the American president suddenly disqualifies them as being representative of the nation is defined with one word — divisive. And that defies everything this team represents. What Soledad, and the other media cranks, need to do is sit down and watch the movie ‘’Miracle’’, specifically one scene.
Kurt Russel plays the late head coach Herb Brooks, and in the scene mentioned, his team played poorly against an opponent felt to be inferior. He saw a problem on his squad and decided to address it. There were factions on the roster, comprised of college players from two areas of the country that had a rivalry built-in; many hailed from schools in Minnesota, and another group came from east coast colleges. The players were favoring those from the schools they were familiar with and not working with players from the rivals.
Following the game, Brooks kept the team on the ice and had them running gassers — sprints from the goal line to the various lines on the ice, and back, in succession. After each set of gassers he would ask a select player, ”What team do you play for?’’ When he would be told the name of their school Brooks blew his whistle, indicating they had another set of gassers to skate. As the night wore on he asked Mike Eruzione, ”What team do you play for?’’ Instead of delivering the expected ”Boston University,’’ the team captain, near a state of collapse sputtered a different answer:
Finally satisfied, Brooks walked off the ice, relenting his punishment. That was the moment when the team understood. They had not been playing as a unit, and as a result, the lack of cohesion was delivering failure. From that moment, the team took on an altogether new persona in the dressing room. Success, and history, soon followed.
Today, our media is working in exactly the opposite fashion. When they see an emblem of national pride, like a revered hockey team, supporting our leader they do not rally around them. Lines are drawn, sides are chosen, and enemies are declared. When they back a candidate who promotes policies of a Socialist nature they encourage his solutions of labeling sectors of the nation as evil, and in need of retribution.
Divisiveness, the very thing so many claim to abhor, is instead promoted. The need to tear down an iconic hockey team, all in the name of political expediency, is a symptom of the disease. Unity is not desired, conflict is instead. This hockey team showed us that when differing groups are brought together for a common goal, the unimaginable can take place. Our press seems intent instead to segregate and fence off those groups. They want an assured disappointment.
We should be asking them what team they are playing for.