By now, you've probably heard about, if not seen, Miracle, the sports movie that transcends sports. It's the story of how Herb Brooks' cold-blooded coaching forged the 1980 US Olympic hockey team that upset the Soviet Union and won the gold medal at Lake Placid during the Cold War when, with hostages in Iran and the Soviets having invaded Afghanistan, America badly needed a jolt of jingoism. \nNearly a quarter of a century later, coincidentally, with young American soldiers being ambushed in Iraq and with a struggling economy, the movie comes at a time when America needs another lift. \nThe movie's focus is on Brooks, as it should be. If coaching is making a team better than it really is, Brooks may have done the most remarkable coaching job in the history of any sport. And in a movie that never needs to get corny because honesty is always better than hokum, Brooks, portrayed so well by Kurt Russell, is the sculptor of a shocking upset by mostly college kids. \nThis was a dream triumph, not a Dream Team, the basketball term that players like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson popularized in the 1992 Summer Olympics. In a way, the Soviets who, for all practical purposes, were state-sponsored professionals on what was world hockey's Dream Team. Yes, better than any of the best National Hockey League teams of that era. \nWith NHL players having participated in the last three Winter Olympics and pros participating in most Olympic sports, you will never see another miracle quite like it. \nBut for anyone who was in Lake Placid, the movie prompted outtakes that, understandably, could not be squeezed into the screenplay. The lasting memory here is a Sunday scene after their 4-2 gold-medal victory over Finland -- their appearance on the auditorium stage of Lake Placid High School, which served as the news media center. \nThroughout the earlier games, Brooks had seldom permitted his players to talk to the news media. But now, still in their sweaty red-white-and-blue uniforms and with their gold medals hanging from red-white-and-blue ribbons around their necks, here was the team, in shoes instead of skates, flopping into big chairs as Brooks stood at a microphone. \n"You're watching a group of people who startled the athletic world," Brooks said. "Not the hockey world, but the athletic world." \nAmong all the notebooks and microphones, a reporter asked if any of the players had one word that described what they had accomplished. \n"Well," said Mike Eruzione, the captain who had scored the winning goal against the Soviets on Friday, "we're all a bunch of big doolies now." \nTo his listeners, doolies was a new word. Realizing an explanation was needed, Eruzione turned to Phil Verchota, a left wing who had coined it. \n"I got a gold today, so I'm a big doolie," Verchota said. "It just means big wheel, big gun, big shot." \n"Is there," another reporter asked, "any favorite Brooksism to describe what happened here?" \n"Well," said John Harrington, a right wing who was quietly famous among his teammates for his imitations of the coach, "we were damned if we did and damned if we didn't. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. We reloaded, we went up to that tiger and spit in his eye. We went to the well again -- the water was colder, the water was deeper."
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on