So today I want to talk about the real winner of the Olympic hockey tournament: 1980 references.
It's no secret that the 1980 team is kind of my thing, so seeing other people talking about it on Twitter was kind of the greatest. Obviously this all came to a head when the U.S. faced Russia in pool play, and how could it not? Three members of the Soviet team from 1980 are now in positions of power in Russian hockey; Vladislav Tretiak is the head of Russian Ice Hockey Federation, Zinetula Bilyaletdinov is the Olympic team's head coach, and Alexei Kasatonov is the team's technical official. And then there's Viktor Tikhonov, the head coach of the 1980 team, whose grandson (with the same name) is a forward on the 2014 team. And on the American end is Ryan Suter, whose father Bob was on the 1980 U.S. team. So, y'know, there were connections to be made.
But most of what I saw was purely gratuitous. And totally, completely awesome.
But to my delight, people were throwin' it back to 1980 during completely irrelevant games, and when neither Russia nor the U.S. were even on the ice.
And I've got to hand it to NBC's hockey broadcast team, because they were able to throw some gems into their coverage.
But I think what gets the most credit from me is the following:
1972 was essentially the Soviet Union's "Miracle on Ice," except it was on a basketball court. Video linked here for your convenience, should you want to relive a very unfortunate moment in American sports history. Nonetheless, 1980 reference + 1972 reference = A+.
(And now I just want to paste Mike Eruzione's "I just scored the winning goal" face on every hockey photo in existence. Someone take Photoshop away from me.)
**Note: Photos are not mine. But the ridiculous things that've been done to them are.