“It’s the U.S. going up against Goliath.” – Michaels
“If we ever talk about a ‘Hockey Day in America,’ there is one all-time ‘Hockey Day in America.’” – Tirico
“Almost like Bill Belichick in a way; he wanted to keep the press and outside world [away]…’it’s on to Romania.’” – Michaels on head coach Herb Brooks
STAMFORD, Conn. – Feb. 19, 2020 – The Miracle on Ice – 40th Anniversary, featuring Al Michaels, who called men’s hockey at the 1980 Winter Olympics, and Mike Tirico, will premiere tonight at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, following Wednesday Night Hockey coverage of Rangers-Blackhawks.
Forty years to the month, this 30-minute special will feature Tirico’s wide-ranging conversation with Michaels about the U.S. Olympic men’s ice hockey team’s gold-medal run at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., highlighted by the Americans’ improbable semifinal victory against the Soviet Union. Click here to watch a preview.
Below are some highlighted quotes:
Al Michaels: “The country needed a boost…something to get excited about, and of all crazy things, this was the thing.”
Mike Tirico: “If we ever talk about a ‘Hockey Day in America,’ there is one all-time ‘Hockey Day in America.’”
Michaels on analyst Ken Dryden: “Ken Dryden was the perfect partner … Ken Dryden is a renaissance man.”
On head coach Herb Brooks: “Almost like Bill Belichick in a way; he wanted to keep the press and outside world over here and knew a lot more than the media knew…‘it’s on to Romania’…he turned out to be the perfect guy for this team.”
Michaels on the atmosphere surrounding the game: “There was a sense of anticipation, but there also might have been, I don’t want to say fear, but nervousness. It’s the U.S. going up against Goliath.”
Michaels on comeback: “The U.S. trailed three times, they were outshot 39-16. How many games in the history of hockey, international, National Hockey League, bantam, peewee, does a team get outshot two-and-a-half to one, and come back three times? It doesn’t happen and it made it all the better.”
Michaels reflecting on his historic “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” call: “I almost hear it now in the third person. I’m excited because I know it’s going to happen and I know its going to be said, but it’s like someone else is doing it and I’m just going to exult in what’s happening. I mean, this was such a great moment, I want to be a fan at that point.”
Michaels on being associated with the iconic event: “It’s been a source of great joy … the story’s been passed down from fathers to sons and daughters. That is so great and it’s one of those rare events where you remember where you were. But if you think back, so many of the events where you remember where you were … are all terrible. This one – beautiful.”