Another Great Finish For The Olympic Books
or more love for Sid the Kid and his luscious gold-medal winning lips
Okay, so the Olympic Gold Medal game came down to the USA vs. Canada. As a Pittsburgher, I was conflicted because A) First and foremost, Hello? I'm an American and B) I'm an American who is blessed to have the best player in hockey-a Canadian-play for her beloved Pens. The way I figured it, no matter who won it was a win-win for us Burghers.
But Holy CRAP!! What a game, huh?!
Once again the intensity of play was off the charts... crushing checks, top notch defense and a heated skirmish or two. The good ole US of A was down by one in the final minutes of the third period. Our goalie, the brilliant Ryan Miller, was pulled for the extra man advantage, but the boys had to scramble to keep the puck in Canada's zone. Once again, in the final thirty seconds, Zach Parise, like a Jedi Knight channeling the force, somehow connected with a rebounded puck to sink it deep into the net to tie the game and send it into overtime.
The youngsters from America were not going down without a fight. To be honest, I was okay with either team sporting the gold, but at that point I was routing for the boys in blue to take the brass ring.
And then Sid, who was quiet for most of the game, touched the puck... and magic happened.
In the biscuit sailed...out flew Sid's mouthpiece along with his stick and gloves. And the jubilation began with a team mash-up blur of red and white.
I don't know why, but I love the image of Sid's mouth guard flinging out of his mouth at break-neck speed, landing 12 feet away. Perhaps it's the pure, unguarded joy of his reaction.
I screamed then, too. And then I teared up, because, you know, I'm a ginormous sap when it comes to stuff like this. Our little Sid officially became the hero of his country.
Good Lord... I'm tearing up now. What an asshat.
Anywho, would I have preferred my country to win. Sure. But, hey, if we had to lose, at least it was at the hands of our own... this honorable young man who embodies the idea of hard work, dedication and youthful exhuberance. How could you not be happy for him? What an amazing ten months he's had. He led his team from the brink of elimination to snatch the Stanley Cup from the prior year's nemesis, and now he scored the winning goal in overtime--on home turf--to bring his country gold.
What the hell do you do for an encore? Win another Stanley Cup, of course. Duh?
So how do you top witnessing perhaps the best gold medal round hockey match since 1980? With a closing ceremony filled with singing Mounties, gigantic inflatable beavers (what the? insert your own joke here...) and an appearance by the ultimate Canadian, The Shat Man himself... William Shatner!!!
He is the best of all possible Shatners. No celebration of Canada would be complete without Captain Kirk extolling the virtues of being a Canadian in his own unique, stilted delivery. I've been waiting for him for two weeks! Where the HELL have you been, Bill?
At the end of the day, the US did better than in any prior winter Olympics winning 37 shiny medals. We even managed to snag the first gold medal in 62 years in the four-man bobsled.
I'm going to miss it.
So a big ole, wet, sloppy kiss of thanks to you, Canada! It's been a fun two weeks, what with the Curling mania and hockey hysteria and the world just generally coming together to enjoy itself without the bullshit yoke of politics to strangle our collective human spirit.
It was a welcomed respite indeed.