Do You Still Believe?

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Do You Still Believe?

Wow, has it really been 38 years? It is crazy how quickly time flies! Right now, I am in the car with my wife trekking through a snow storm in upstate New York to go back to the place where all the magic happened; Lake Placid, New York. I woke up today so excited after the huge shoot-out victory the US women’s hockey team had over their longtime rivals Team Canada. Right from the beginning of the game you could feel the energy – these women on both teams have been huge role models for women’s hockey all over the world and the US had some unfinished business to take care of. If Canada would have won last night, they would have been the first team in men’s or women’s Olympic hockey to have won 5 straight Olympics – the first time a team has been in that position since the Soviets at the 1980 Olympic games. The determination, grit, hard work, discipline and togetherness of Team USA reminded me a lot of our 1980 team. February 22nd will forever be a day marked in the history of USA hockey.

Today I feel nostalgic – I can’t wait to go back into locker room #5 and stand at center ice and close my eyes and remember. Remember that moment in history, that moment that forever changed my life. Going into the game we were considered the underdogs and were predicted to get dominated by the Soviet Olympic team like we did a few weeks prior at Madison Square Garden. However, people do not understand that Herb Brooks had been preparing for that game way before the Olympic team was even chosen. He knew how to change the way we played and how to defeat the unstoppable Russian team. Going into the Olympics we knew that we were going to be the best conditioned team. Herb’s famous line was, “The legs feed the wolf, gentlemen” and he meant it. He thought our team how to train, think, and play differently. He was a leader that pulled greatness out of everyone in different ways without us even knowing he was doing it. He took 20 individuals from having the same dream and turned it into a shared dream. During the Soviet game, I treated each period like it was a full game and broke down the period into three sections. In between each period, I would take off my equipment and put it back on to refocus for the next period – forgetting what had happened the period before. Anyone on our team will tell you that after we took the lead we knew the game was far from over. Herb trained us to be mentally prepared for anything that came our way. Together we stood as one unit and showed the world why the United States should never be underestimated. It is so humbling that our game 38 years ago is still relevant today and that people still feel inspired by it. The beauty of what our team accomplished in Lake Placid was way beyond a hockey game – it was felt across the nation and it gave hope to people to take risks and to believe in the impossible. In the words of Herb Brooks, “Great moments are born from great opportunities” so make sure you are taking full advantage of every opportunity and do not be intimidated by the impossibility but motivated by the possibility.





  1. Brian says:

    Great write-up, Jimmy! I had the opportunity to play in a hockey tournament on that very ice back in 1990. It was a Can/Am (Canadian/American) Midget A tournament, which was ironic because we were the only team from the U.S., (Seattle). Skating inside that arena, knowing what happened there just 10 year prior, is one of my most cherished hockey memories ever. By the way, our team from Seattle pulled a miracle of our own, only losing to one of the top Midget teams from Toronto in the gold medal game. We were not supposed to be there. I can honestly say, that the inspiration that you and the 1980 Team USA left there in that building, motivated us. We believed.

  2. Smoke Adams says:

    I was just a young boy when I watched that game all those years ago, and I still remember that moment like it was yesterday. You guys lifted a nation that day. As long as anyone lives who watched that game, you will be revered. You’re so right. That was much more than a Hockey game. Thank you and all of your teammates for that memory. RIP Herb.

  3. Luke Archer says:

    I was born during the third period of this game; dad missed the end on tv. When the movie, Miracle, came out, I took my dad to see it. I saw him with tears in his eyes at the end. He shared with me the joys of that night with me being born. He then shared with me how important that game was and how it was more than a game. I love this game of Hockey. I like to say I was born into it! Someday I want to visit Lake Placid and go to the rink where it all happened, just to see it, smell it and take it all in.

    I hope somewhere along life’s journey that I can meet Jim Craig face to face. I was fortunate to meet Mark Wells in Bowling Green, OH last winter. I got a puck signed and a picture with him. I shared my story with him and he was gracious enough to listen. He told me, “Tell your father that I may have played in the miracle game, but you (me) are the real miracle.” I thought that was pretty neat!

    The Legs Feed The Wolf. Those are great words to motivate, even now. So…on this anniversary and on my birthday of 38 years, I appreciate what you did for our country and in some weird way, I feel a special connection to the 1980 Olympic Games.

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