Friday, February 26, 2010

Another Miracle on Ice?

So it has come down to USA and Canada in the hockey final in the Vancouver Winter Olympics! This is the dream match everyone (in North America at least) was hoping for. That the young Team USA beat Canada 5-3 in their pool match last Sunday is a distant memory. That loss actually gives Team Canada the advantage because the players are motivated to avenge their earlier defeat in front of a delirious home crowd. They have, well, a score to settle.

Certainly in the individual talent department, the Canadians leave their US counterparts in the dust. But one of the major lessons in team sports is that a less-talented team with more cohesion often beats the team with superior talent but less cohesion.

Canada has probably overcome the lack of cohesion by thrashing the mighty Russians and beating Slovakia, although their superstar Sidney Crosby is yet to show his magic. The question is: Can Team USA pull it off again? Because if they do, it will be another Miracle On Ice. It may not have the fire of the 1980 Lake Placid Miracle against the Red Machine in the subtext of the Cold War. Still, it will be big.

The two teams will undoubtedly play their hearts out and fans will talk about it for years to come. My head says Canada will win but my heart is with Team USA. That I am an American has nothing to do with it. It's just that I have a weakness for miracles. And lately there have been far too few miracles to grace our lives. Go USA!

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