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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Monday, February 22, 2010

N-H-L! N-H-L!

In the 14 hours or so since the U.S. hockey team beat Canada at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, I've lost count of how many times I've heard sports commentators refer to the victory as "stunning," an "upset" and comparable to the 1980 Miracle on Ice hockey game in which the U.S. beat the Soviet Union in Lake Placid.

Are these people for real?!

The Miracle on Ice game was a once-in-a-lifetime win by 20 American college kids over a Soviet powerhouse squad that was, for all intents and purposes, a group of seasoned professionals at a time when the Olympics allowed only amateur competitors.

Last night's game was a bunch of NHL all-stars from the United States playing against a bunch of NHL all-stars from Canada. How, exactly, does one of those two teams beating the other - in what was little more than a midseason exhibition game - qualify as "stunning" or an "upset"?

The Miracle on Ice game is considered by many to have been the greatest sports moment of the 20th century. The U.S.-Canada game last night might not even have been the greatest sports moment of the past weekend.

The Miracle on Ice game continues to be talked about after 30 years (it was 30 years ago today, as a matter of fact), and probably will be for generations to come. Last night's U.S.-Canada game probably won't be talked about beyond next Sunday.

Anyone trying to convince people that last night's game was even remotely close in significance to the Miracle on Ice game is either brainless or thinks the rest of us are.



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