Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Yeah, I am still watching the Winter Olympics. The USA beat Finland to move to the semi-finals. As the announcer just said, "The USA won -- not on finesse, but on sheer will and heart."

I am feeling nostalgic -- I know a bogus emotion.
{See Blog dated 2/15/10.}

Thirty years ago this month, I lived in an apartment on the north side of Atlanta and taught at Douglas County High School.

February, 1980. ........I was twenty-six years old -- and living the single life in a swinger singles' apartment complex. Only not really.

I was single, but not much of a swinger -- I had to get up early five days a week to face the unwashed masses and teach them to identify the parts of speech, diagram sentences, and if I was lucky, we might write a sentence or two. It was the days of a course called Grammar and Composition -- the anchor of the 9th grade English curriculum.

It was Douglas County -- these folks had only been reading for fifty years.

*tee hee*

I'm kidding. They were good kids ..... when they weren't muddin' or deer huntin'.

*apologizes to Mike, Eddie, and John for throwing them under the DC bus*

The second week of the Winter Olympics of 1980, I had the flu.

The winter flu kept me running a fever, hacking and coughing, and pushed my roommate Catherine to staying back twenty feet. She'd bring me a glass of water, a box of Kleenex, or turn up the heat -- but she was having none of my contagion.

Huddled under an afghan, I did little other than lie on the scratchy and nappy, green couch.

Because of the flu and only being able to concentrate on Night Rider or other such offerings from television of the time, I became addicted to the Winter Olympics and the US hockey team -- who grew to be the darlings of America by winning the gold.

As I lay on the sofa, fever of 102, and downing aspirin after aspirin, I became a fan of hockey.

I had never watched it before, much less understood it -- but the "miraculous" American hockey team became my team, as I, delirious, memorized the player's names and watched their matches -- sometimes late into the night ----and ABC who broadcasted the games -- saw they had a ratings gold mine.

No pun intended.

The crowds chanted "USA, USA, USA." I think this was the first time I had ever heard it so raucous, so loud, so interminable -- that it became signature with that team and that year.

Held in Lake Placid, NY, the American team, made up of amateurs and collegiate players, won the gold by beating Finland, but before that had beaten the Soviets, considered the best team in the world.

I was in love with every player --- but the one who captured my single woman looking for a man loving heart, and really the hearts of all Americans, was Jim Craig.

When the USA beat Finland, the team exploded, and Craig skated the ice wearing an American flag.

*le sigh*

Craig was an all American boy from Boston College -- shaggy hair, rugged good looks -- worthy of being a symbol of those Olympic games -- a golden boy.

In the Olympic games of 1980, as goalie for the American team, he made seemingly supernatural after supernatural saves at the goal.

That week --- is imprinted in my memory... with of all things -- a sporting event that I will never forget, and it's hockey? LOL

It's right up there as memorable with the 1992 Braves going to the World Series and not even winning it.


I haven't watched hockey since, but here again in 2010, I am as the USA hockey team is in the finals of the Olympics... but this time, I don't have the flu .. I have time.


The USA hockey teams may have have been in the finals again since 1980, I dunno, but even the 2010 Olympics can't create that excitement for me again --

it could have been the flu -- it could have been that 1980, in retrospect, seems a simpler time --

but there was something magical about that 1980 Olympics and the USA men's hockey team ....


before those Olympics, we had suffered a blow to our innocence with the ugly tragedy of the 1972 Olympics in Munich [the execution of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches]-- and it took us eight years to right ourselves --- to look terrorism in the face ---

to celebrate again the idealism of nations coming together in competition and national pride.... Munich briefly took that from us.

In 1976, yeah, we had Dorothy Hamill -- but we held our breath.... so 1980 brought us back to the high -- that only the Olympics can bring.

I've asked around this year to my friends:

Are you watching the Olympics?

The answers have been about 50 percent.....

but in 1980, many watched those games -- and I do think, it was the hockey team that did it --

I could be wrong.
I could just be sentimental, but I think I am right.

Blog readers out there --- all of you who were old enough..... did you watch those Olympics? Did you get caught up in the fun madness of those games?

I wanna know.

BTW: This should be dated Feb. 23, 2010 -- I had a rough draft of this, and just got back to finish it.


  1. I watched part of the 1980 Olympics - the final hockey game for sure! Thrilling game!

    Now, we look at those gorgeous players and think we would be proud to be their mamas! Gee, we're old.

  2. Okay so for some reason my ridiculously long post about the 1980 winter Olympic games and my memories about it were delete. I guess someone was telling me for once to be brief LOL.

    I watched and it was magical. I will never forget them beating the Russians and then Finland to win the gold. I was a little young to remember Munich but the 1980 Olympics I will never forget! There was more but I'll spare you the details :)

  3. I don't remember the 1980 olympics but I do remember swimming in the olympic pool in Munich in 1973. Mark Spitz still gives me the shivers!!

  4. I obviously didn't watch the Olympics then, but I adore them now. My TV has been on almost all day everyday (usually on mute while I'm working on homework). I'm sad that they are already ending :(

  5. I remember that so clearly. Such magic. Our ragtag team of David's took on Goliath and won.

  6. So I got a little choked up reading this.
    I'll leave it at that for now but I'll get back to this entry of yours...