Thursday, August 20, 2009


"You know, Willie Wonka said it best: We are the makers of dreams, the dreamers of dreams. We should be dreaming. We grew up as kids having dreams, but now we're too sophisticated as adults, as a nation. We stopped dreaming. We should always have dreams. I'm a dreamer."- Herb Brooks


Did Herb Brooks really miss his chance to play in the Winter Olympics in 1960?

Yes. Brooks was the last person to be cut by coach Jack Riley from the 1960 gold medal winning U.S. Olympic team. At right is a photo of Herb Brooks in his shortly worn 1960 Olympic attire (click to enlarge). Brooks did however later play in the Olympic games in 1964, and he was the captain in 1968.

How did the U.S. victory over the Russians and subsequent Olympic Gold Medal at Lake Placid in 1980 become known as the "Miracle On Ice"?

The "Miracle On Ice" catchphrase took hold after sportscaster Al Michaels exclaimed, "Do you believe in miracles?" just after the final seconds winded down in the United States' 4-3 victory over Russia. -Disney

What was the national reaction to the United States 1980 victory?

The Miracle on Ice was a monumental victory on both an athletic and political level. The nation was looking for a distraction from world events, which included the impending threat of nuclear war, the country's hostages in Iran, and the long lines at the gas pumps. With little good in the news, Herb Brooks and his ragtag hockey team of college kids soon became the national focus. Their victory over the Soviet Union, our Cold War enemy, gave the United States a symbol of hope. It also inflicted upon the Russians a scar of defeat. The players became celebrities, and still remain national heroes. Even U.S. coach Herb Brooks enjoyed the limelight a little. He dropped in for an unannounced appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson on February 27, 1980

Did Herb Brooks ever coach another Olympic hockey team after 1980?

Yes. Herb Brooks first returned to the Olympics in 1998, coaching the French team at the Nagano Games. Then, in 2002, Herb Brooks coached the U.S. Olympic hockey team at the Winter Games in Salt Lake City. To begin the Games, Mike Eruzione led other members of the 1980 Olympic team in the lighting of the Olympic cauldron at the opening ceremony. At Salt Lake City, Brooks led the U.S. team to a silver medal, defeated in the final game by Mario Lemieux and the rest of team Canada, who were coached by hockey legend Wayne Gretzky. When asked why he decided to return to coach at the Olympics, Herb Brooks said the following, "Maybe I'm sort of like the players -- there's still a lot of little boy in me," Brooks said. "And maybe I'm a little smarter now than I was before for all the stupid things I've done." -

Did Herb Brooks ever coach in the NHL?

Yes. Following his 1980 Olympic victory at Lake Placid, Herb Brooks coached the New York Rangers (1981-85). There he set a franchise record, reaching 100 wins quicker than any other coach in the organization's history. After leaving the Rangers, Brooks coached the Minnesota North Stars (1987-88), the New Jersey Devils (1992-93), and the Pittsburgh Penguins (1999-00). -

What were the details surrounding Herb Brooks' death?

On Monday August 11, 2003, just six days after his sixty-sixth birthday, while on his way to the Minneapolis airport to board a flight to Chicago, Herb Brooks lost control of his minivan and veered onto a grassy area at a highway intersection north of the Twin Cities. Chucke Menke of USA Hockey said that Brooks was coming from a Hall of Fame celebrity golf event. State Patrol Lt. Chuck Walerius said that an inspection of the accident scene (above, right) revealed that Brooks had apparently not been wearing his seatbelt. His body was found about forty yards from the vehicle, which is thought to have rolled several times. Anoka County coroner's office said that Brook's died of multiple blunt-force chest and abdominal injuries when he was ejected from his vehicle ( The State Patrol's report confirmed Brooks wasn't drinking, speeding, talking on his cell phone or having health trouble before the crash. Officials also said that weather and road conditions were ruled out as contributing factors. The State Patrol concluded that he most likely fell asleep at the wheel ( The following morning after the accident a makeshift memorial could be seen at the site of the wreck. Commuters slowed down to pay their respects, spotting the hockey jersey and the University of Minnesota hat on the side of the road. -

Did Herb Brooks know about the Disney movie Miracle before he died?

Yes. Brooks had visited the sets of Miracle around Vancouver, British Columbia. He had spoken with the actor portraying him on the big screen, Kurt Russell. He talked to Russell about possibly watching a game in which Russell's son played, who is a Tier II goaltender. -

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