Favorites Friday: Jim Craig

Welcome to the new series I'm starting here, folks! My plan is to dedicate Fridays to my Olympic favorites; athletes, moments, logos, whatever. I can't promise a post every Friday (because let's be real), but that's what I'm going to shoot for. Dream big, right? And hey, I do rather enjoy talking about things I love, so I'm sure I won't have to twist my own arm into blogging regularly.

So, onwards!

There really isn't a better place to start my list of favorites than with Jim Craig. (I know, I've been on a serious Miracle kick lately. Sshh. Just go with it.)

Prior to reading The Boys of Winter, all I really knew about him was that he was the goalie of the most well-known hockey team ever, and that his on-screen counterpart was Eddie Cahill, who is extremely attractive. I, however, am not one to like an athlete (or anyone, really) just because he's attractive (or, in this case, the guy portraying him is attractive). There has to be a good human being in there for me to care. So I liked him and all, but was pretty ambivalent about it.

Jim Craig and Herb Brooks.
(Eddie Cahill might have some competition...)
But this was one of those cases in which the more I learned about him, the more I grew to love him. Seriously. I'm still waiting for something to make me like him less, but I'm now a movie, a documentary, two books and at least a dozen articles in and it hasn't happened yet. It's a bit of a situation.

I think all that really needs to be said about him is that he would write a note to his mom before he went to school every morning that said, "Have a great day, mom, I love you." And that, when his mom got really sick during his first year at Boston University, he took the T to visit her in the hospital almost every night after practice. And that, "[d]uring the pre-Olympic tour, the players moved into apartments together in the Twin Cities area; Craig lived in the basement of Doc Nagobads’ house. It not only spared him from paying rent and left him more money to send home each month, but it was the homier, family environment he preferred. Craig missed him mother profoundly and became especially fond of Velma Nagobads, Doc’s wife. He was much more inclined to spend time at the kitchen table with the Nagobadses than to go out with the guys." And, of course, there's the iconic image of him on the ice at the Olympics, clutching the American flag, eyes scanning the crowd, asking, "Where's my father?"

Do you want to hug him, or is it just me? Because I really, really want to hug him.

He was also apparently a bit of a loner, very self sufficient, and not overly chummy with most of the guys on the team because it just wasn't his priority. However, "If you were Jim’s friend, he absolutely could not do enough for you or say enough to make you feel good.” I think we would've been best friends if he wasn't 22, oh, eleven years before I was born. Sigh.

I hear he lives in St. Petersburg, FL now, though. He sounds like the kind of guy that would want to come to a University of Miami men's ice hockey game, right?

Hey, a girl can dream!

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