Ice Hockey - Men's Gold Medal Game - Day 17

Pictured: History

Every sports fan has “that game.” The lucky few of us have more than one “that game.” I live in Toronto so I only have one. Thankfully, my “that game” is the shared by almost the entirety of Canada. I am speaking, of course, about the 2010 Gold Medal game between Canada and The United States. Three years ago today the game was played. Three years ago today I became a Sidney Crosby fan. I remember…most of it.  A lot of people point to game 2 of the 1987 Canada Cup as the greatest hockey game ever played. I get that but I’ve watched that game recently and, with some distance and hindsight, I can pretty safely say that 2010 topped it. Maybe it’s the being there aspect but, for my money, there has never been a greater game than the one that was played on February 28, 2010.

There’s no real need to chronicle how this game went down. Everyone who was there remembers is and there are countless clips on YouTube of  the greatest goal ever scored. So, I thought I’d get a little self-indulgent on this one and share my memories of this game in the hopes that you can all join me in sharing what you remember about one of the best days I’ve ever experienced.

I was nervous from the minute I got up. I woke up early that day (well, early for me so…like 7) because I had to make it from my parents’ house (I was home from university on Reading Week) in Toronto’s east-end up to a Boston Pizza at Yonge and Sheppard. I have no idea why we decided to watch the game at Boston Pizza but that’s where we ended up. Myself and five of my friends got there around 11am, got seats at the bar and immediately started drinking. The place was packed by 12:30 and you could feel everyone slowly starting to freak out. Remember, this is Toronto, we don’t really know how to handle games of such importance and, on the few times they do occur, we immediately expect the absolute worst. Put it this way, there were multiple predictions of a 5-0 USA victory being thrown around.

Here’s my embarrassing admission of the day. In February of 2010 I didn’t like Sidney Crosby. I thought he was kind of a douche and I was convinced that Alex Ovechkin was the superior player. In hindsight, I see how ridiculously dumb that opinion was but, at the time, it was what I thought. A buddy of mine who was with us that day was, and still is, the biggest Crosby fan I know and we had constant arguments on the matter. Here’s the thing everyone forgets about this tournament – Crosby wasn’t great. He got, probably unfairly, picked apart by the media wondering “what is wrong with Sidney Crosby” and while the answer was probably “nothing,” in my brain the answer was “everything.” I was not stoked on Crosby.

Then the game started.

Weirdly, as soon as the game started an immediate sense of calm washed over me. Canada’s passes were connecting, I felt weirdly confident about Luongo, and I was positive we were going to win this game. Then Jonathan Toews scored at the 12:50 mark and all bets were off (this also did nothing to dissuade my absolute love of Toews which has only grown in the three years since this game). The random Boston Pizza and Yonge and Sheppard went nuts. Confidence in the bar was way up. Toronto had never seen such confidence in a bar. We were going to be okay.

Then Corey Perry scored to make it 2-0 in the second period.

Chaos. That’s the only way to describe the scene that was taking place in a Boston Pizza at Yonge and Sheppard. People were standing on the bar, standing on tables, hugging strangers. Most of us didn’t even see Ryan Kesler’s goal to make it 2-1 five minutes later because we were so delirious with joy. Kesler’s goal brought us back to Earth. Confidence was high but now we had to actually watch the game and, as the third period started, a sense of, if not dread, then just high levels of stress began to set in. We remembered what city we lived in, we remembered what teams we cheered for. We knew where this was going.

The third period was like a psychiatric test to see how far we could bend before we broke. Every time the USA brought the puck past the red line you could feel breath being held. At the time, it wasn’t even fun. I didn’t enjoy that third period at all. With five minutes to go and Canada still leading, we got cocky. “Let’s Go Canada” chants began. By the 2 minute mark, the entire bar was screaming, pounding the bar, pounding tables. “Let’s Go Canada,” louder and louder and louder.

Then Parise scored.

I know saying that you can “hear silence” is completely contradictory and makes no sense but, I’m telling you, I have never heard silence like that in my life. From the time Parise’s goal was scored, throughout the entire intermission between the third period and overtime, no one said a word. No drinks were ordered, no discussions on who might score were had, the only sound in the bar was that of the televisions. It was awful. I know it may be silly for a bunch of semi-adults (and some actual adults) to be so horrendously invested in this game, but, it was the Olympics. It was Canada/USA. A win for Canada would give us the most gold medals of the entire Olympics. I am not a nationalist by any means and generally find the whole idea silly but, at that moment, nothing meant more to me than Canada being the best.

Overtime might have been the most stressful seven minutes and forty seconds of hockey of my life. I thought the puck crossing the red line in the third was bad, this was hell. The lack of speaking continued other than “ooohs,” “aaahs,” and screams. Every save Luongo made was met with a loud “LUUUUU.” It was horrifying. It was wonderful.

Then Crosby scored.

I don’t remember the puck going in. I don’t think I actually saw it go in. There was a split second delay between Crosby scoring and the celebration beginning. But begin it did. Screams and hugs follow, my friend Jesse accidentally punched me in the face because I didn’t see his high five coming. I didn’t care. We spent the rest of the evening drinking, re-watching the game, singing Oh Canada and just generally being obnoxious. It was awesome. I can’t wait to do this again at three in the morning next year.

Anyway, that’s my story about a crazy day. If you’ve got one you want to share, please do.

 

Comments (37)

  1. I was there, and I almost died afterwards apparently. That entire day is a blur.
    Also, that Boston Pizza has a great set of TV’s on the wall and it was close to my place, so BACK OFF.

  2. I was at a friends here in New Jersey, they dont know hockey, but when parise scored they lost it. I found my self in he weird feeling of being an American but a die hard penguins fan when crosby scored. the picture of miller bent over, was the same as me and my friends that day. and i agree, this is the best game i ever saw from the american come back showing we are a hockey power house to “IGGY” i never want to watch it again and relive that constant back and forth. i can only hope the olympics next year will bring the same beauty to our game

  3. For some reason, I watched the game at home alone; I spent most of it live-Facebooking (not yet Tweeting) the game with friends across the country and around the world. I knew the US would tie it through the whole second half of the 3rd, so when they did, I wasn’t surprised. (Canada had been sitting back WAY too much.) I did feel a strange calm in the intermission, but my overwhelming thought was “I am so glad that the most-watched hockey game in history is also probably the best.” Especially once Crosby scored.

    After that, my friend Brad called and said we should meet up and see the celebration on Yonge, as we had in 2002. He said to meet him at Yonge & Bloor; when I got there, it was a classic Canadian celebration – it’s one of the few “scramble” intersections in Toronto, so everytime it was stopped both ways, hordes of people would run into the middle, jumping and screaming and cheering, then as the crosswalk counted down, everyone ran back to their respective corners to let cheering cars through. Enthusiastic, yet polite!

    Turns out Brad had meant “Yonge & Dundas”, so I walked down. Near Gerrard St., traffic was closed off and I walked a few steps behind a stocky guy with an Expos hat, a smoke in his mouth, a bottle of Canadian in his left hand and his right hand permanently raised to give and receive high-fives. (That guy should get the Order of Canada.) At the main intersection, it was jammed with revelers. Streetcars were backed up along Dundas, and a group of idiots/heroes were launching themselves into the doors. One of them – I swear – grinned at me and said “it’s just like checking someone into the boards, eh?” (Sidenote: instead of picturing some hick from Keswick when you read that, I’m pretty sure he was actually Persian.)

    We tried to go to the Imperial Pub for a drink. Foolishly, they did not appear to have known the biggest game ever would be happening, so there were no extra staff on. So we found an obscure Firkin pub on a side street and savoured our pints – and toasted Crosby more than once, I’m sure.

    • That intersection thing is amazing.

    • Andrew: The Firkin in the basement of the Flatiron building? I love that pub!

      American, so I was pulling for the USA team, but you know, two of the three teams I follow are Canadian, and so is my son-in-law, and until the US made it to the final, I was rooting for the home team to win gold, so the result was not a great heartbreak for me.

      I was watching at home with a friend, and in the intermission before OT, I told her “no matter how this turns out, this has been one of the greatest hockey games I have ever seen.” She was down with that.

      When it was over, next time I saw the son-in-law, he got a hug and congrats from me. I would give the same to every other Canadian. Winning gold in your sport in your Olympics: the world is as it should be.

  4. I always thought ‘The Game’ for me would be the 2002 Olympic game. It wasn’t as close, but the team was probably just as talented, but an older talent than 2010. I buddy of mine had gone home for a week of visiting his family, and he texted me during the intermission saying ‘Crosby will win it.’ To this day thats still the proudest moment of his life predicting that out come.

    The second video linked is great, and makes me tear up seeing everyone celebrate.

  5. Not to be negative (cause it was a great game) but the only thing that bothers me is that even though Crosby scored ‘the goal’ (which was a bit of dumb luck and Miller being too fatigued to get down quick enough), he didn’t do much the entire game or tournament. Guys like Toews and Nash were the reason why Canada made it to this game and won. Then Crosby gets a lucky goal and gets all the headlines, front pages and fairytale bs that comes with it. Ughh….great game though! Lol

    • He did play against the top D pairings and shut down forwards of every team they played though. That freed up the 2nd and 3rd line to score some more.

  6. Will never forget watching this game on a couch made out of snow on a little TV on our student house front yard. The stress with every single U.S. zone entry is definitely what I relate to most. I wasn’t the most confident in Luongo, as were many.

    But parading through the streets of Waterloo, shutting down intersections and having a mob rush into the WLU concourse to sing and chant made for one hell of a night.

  7. Full disclosure I live in Vancouver.

    I don’t get the argument of 2002 GMG > 2010 GMG. Looking in hindsight, the 2010 GMG was the perfect denouement to an amazing Vancouver Olympics. Started slow with people shitting on how the games were going, the death of Nodar Kumaritashvili, the criticism of the Own the Podium, the lack of snow, the cancelling of tickets etc. Then Jen Heil fails to bring home Canada’s first gold but it seemed to give us momentum. People started noticing the amazing atmosphere in the streets and from that point forward, everything seemed to build. Alex wins Canada’s first gold. Jon Montgomery wins gold and walks through Whistler with a pitcher of beer. Gold in ice dance. Rochette’s courageous bronze. The loud curling venue. The partying in the streets of Vancouver (and I assume across Canada). But everyone was still waiting to see if Canada would win the one that mattered. The men’s team seemed to take the same path as the Olympics. There was the close shootout win versus the Suisse followed by the loss to USA in the round robin which had people questioning the team. Then the controversial goalie switch and naming Roberto the starter. Canada demolishes Germany and seemed to get back on track. The ladies win gold the day before. Kevin Martin wins to tie the gold medal record. Canada gets unlucky by having to beat the Russians in the semi’s but run through them (and it wouldn’t be the same not playing the Russians). Everything was set up for the final event of the Olympics: either a huge win or an Olympics crushing experience loss. On top of this, Vancouver’s home town goalie, who had the reputation of being fragile, was in net. I know my friends and I were worried what a loss could do to the Canucks who were surging and were a contender for the cup. And who better to play than USA.

    I think most people remember Crosby’s disappointing Olympics up to that point. All he had done was score in the shootout against the Suisse. He also missed a chance to seal the victory on his third period breakaway. But in the end his failures as well as the Parsie goal just added to the experience. I remember having an eerie confidence heading into OT that Sid would redeem himself. Because it seemed like the Olympics were building for it to happen. Because I wanted it to happen so badly. Because that is how legends are born.

    And it couldn’t have happened more perfectly. The former breakout star from the 2002 Olympics and now grizzled vet to the legend in the making. Quick shot. Gloves in the air. Pandemonium. Best win in my lifetime.

    • Canada actually beat Russia in the Quarterfinal, then survived Slovakia in the Semi on that last second Luongo save on Demitra.

      • Right! Forgot about that. Lou’s play at the Olympics was a huge lingering side story in Vancouver and that was the game where people started to become more confident in him (although that would change over the past 2 years).

    • I think 2010 Olympics will always win over 2002 Olympics (in my mind anyways) because it was in Canada, so we were able to celebrate and connect with each other as Canadians in a way that we couldn’t in 2002.

  8. I’m with you Duke, no one remembers Toews getting 4th line minutes at the beginning, when Crosby was junk..

    No one remembers Toews absolutely dominating that Tourney, considered the deepest tourney of players assembled & the guy comes out with the Tourney MVP.. While turning his line from the 4th to the best line..

    Nope, purple just want

  9. I’d just moved to NYC and was stuck in the office with a team of people who did not care that I had missed the majority of the Olympic tournament and was about to miss the final so, despite being terrified of losing my new job I disappeared for the afternoon. The best decision I’ve ever made. I wound up wedged between the bar and the stairs to the bathroom at a bar packed with Canadians. It was too packed to get a beer, and if you did get one you better be able to hold it. Probably the best atmosphere I’ve ever experienced, and the Parise goal made sure every single emotion you can feel watching a sporting event was felt.

  10. From the other side of the border experiences watching from a pub in New York City were a little different. But I know a bit of that feeling of pride as for one brief fleeting moment with only seconds remaining in regulation, we were the United States of Zach Parise Fans.

    So I can totally understand the adulation poured upon Sidney Crosby for winning the game and I’m glad now, in hindsight, that you guys have this one to look back on.

    I guess we’ve still got 1980 over here anyways.

  11. Was watching it in a shitty little cramped University residence on a 12″ TV. Was probably the best atmosphere I’ve ever watched a game in – about 40 people packed in a room meant to hold max 15. When Parise scored at least 5 people left because they couldn’t bear to watch, so they just hung outside and listened to our reactions. When the game was over we shut down an major intersection in the city. People were standing on cop cars and giving high fives to cops. Was awesome.

  12. Great game, but my favorite part was afterwards, as the silver medals were handed out to the Americans. When Ryan Kesler was announced, Canadians cheered. Sure, hometown fans cheering one of their team’s stars, but still classy.

  13. Watched it at a friends house, with a big group of my bro’s…..one of them had the bright idea of saying, i hope USA scores so we can see some Overtime. He was instantly met with venom from everyone in the room, i told him “if the USA tie this up, i’m punching you”. Minutes later Parise scored, I right hooked him in the shoulder as hard as I could, he complained…i told him that’s what he get’s for opening his big dumb mouth. anyways what I remember from the Crosby goal was him shooting it then and a giant bro group hug and dog pile of about 7-8 dudes on the couch. we then went out to get some Quiznos while hanging a canada flag out the window and honking, we went back to are buddies house and drank the night away

  14. I had people over to watch at my apartment in New York City. The only sporting event I can compare it to is Landon Donovan’s goal to beat Algeria in the Word Cup that same year. Just an eruption. Being a Devils fan, Parise’s goal was absolute bliss. What sticks with me now, was how gutted he was during the medal ceremony, though. He could have easily won the MVP had USA pulled it out.

  15. I was in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. It was 4:30 in the fucking morning.

    I had been in India for six months, and my parents had come to visit and travel with me for a bit. We went to some of the predictable touristy places in Rajasthan.

    When we were booking hotels in Jaipur, I knew The Game was coming up. I made sure that they had ESPN in every room and that IT WORKED.

    Of course we get there and sure, it works, but is in black and white on a tiny screen and is all fuzzy like they’re playing in a blizzard. But it worked.

    Game started around 1:30 or so, parents tried to stay up but dropped off after it was 2-0. I was huddled over at the foot of the other bed, rocking back and forth throughout the third. When Parise scored to tie it I started swearing loud enough to wake them up.

    The intermission was torture. I was exhausted, it was now after 4am. But it was all worth it when Crosby scored. I didn’t see the puck go in (of course, the reception was garbage).

    But I jumped and screamed and yelled and probably woke the whole hotel. All by myself (well, my parents were awake at this point), in India, at 4:30am. Celebrating. What a game.

  16. These are amazing, guys. Thank you all for sharing. Sometimes sports can do some pretty awesome things.

  17. I had to leave my friend’s house after the 3rd to catch a flight in Ottawa. Tried to wait until the last minute before I reluctantly left. Having to listen to the game over the radio was one of the most frustrating experiences of my life. However, when Crosby scored, causing me to hit the roof of my car in celebration, I looked to the right of highway 401 and noticed the exit;
    Crosby, Gananoque, and the radio station I had been listening to, 87.7.

  18. I could write for hours about that day, but I lack the eloquence to do it justice. Instead, here is a video of two friends, my brother and I singing the anthem after the win:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yCkmSEFtnA

    If you think it went quiet in Boston Pizza, imagine the eerie silence at ‘Canada Hockey Place’ (GM place) after Parise’s goal and during the flood before OT. Still gives me goosebumps to this day.

  19. Sadly, I never saw that game, because I felt like shit with my health, and, with the nasty comments I made, shown below, I’dve come off looking like a complete hypocrite by watching it at all. So I was in a house, with all TVs off, and avoided ALL sports websites like the plague. My comments, made 1 week before, when Canada lost to the U.S. at the end of the round robin, and losing the next-round bye, are below, and I was PISSED OFF that day.

    ‘Well, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Canada sandbagged in the early
    part of the game and the U.S. killed them for it. But what can I
    expect from anyone in this country lately?

    I Am Canadian, but am really ashamed how all of us can be expected to
    cheer the key athletes who do NOTHING BUT SANDBAG on the world stage.

    It really speaks volumes of us when we can go around as a nation and
    say were proud of choke-artists like this Team Canada who are lazy,
    wishy-washy, and incompetent. Yeah, I said it. They’re incompetent and
    deserve nothing but a semi-final loss now. TEAM CANADA DOES NOT
    DESERVE TO PLAY FOR GOLD NEXT WEEK AT ALL, AND THEIR PRESENCE THERE IS A GODDAMN FLUKE IF THEY MAKE IT SOMEHOW, WHICH THEY WON’T! They failed
    being up 7-0 after 2 against the U.S. and paid for it dearly.

    But then, I suppose most of that has to do with our global ‘nice guy’
    image, which has made our country totally irrelevant on the larger and
    most important global competitive stage, where all the glory and money
    lies. That is what we should greedily and selfishly go after, and give
    the rest of the world a big Fuck You! Because, to be honest, we are
    greedy pricks. Yeah…we are greedy. And as a result of putting up this
    False Front of ‘nice guy’, we are getting our asses handed to us in
    short order, when we here in Canada should be selfishly throwing our
    weight around.

    I mean, when other countries view us, they say ‘Aww…how cute.’ when
    they really think of us as idiots and morons who WILL NOT go out there
    in the world and just take success ruthlessly. And yeah…we here in
    this country are not ruthless. We’re more like gutless, spineless
    cowards who bungle things up at the MOST IMPORTANT, GOLD-MEDAL /
    CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING times, not only in sports, but in life in
    general. We frankly deserve no respect from any other nation until we
    realize that going on a blunt-force, kill em’ all attack with intense
    rage is the only way to succeed at things. That ditching our ‘good guy
    / babyface’ image is the route to getting lots of good things, such as
    on-field dominace of and higher political control over sports and
    industries.

    I don’t think anyone out there in Canada realizes how far back we
    truly are when it comes to positive advancements in the world at
    large. Other nations have already passed us by because we refused to
    say ‘No’ to them. Avro Arrow anyone?

    Let’s face it…Canada is complacent, incompetent, clueless, gutless,
    and spinelessly cowardly. How the hell can we expect anyone to take us
    seriously when we aren’t choosing to drop the Front and become openly
    ruthless, vicious, and ticked off? And enough to the point where we
    want to take someone’s head off for laughing at us? Why do you also
    think that the 6 Canadian NHL teams haven’t won a Stanley Cup in 17
    years, and won’t win it this year either?

    Canada, GROW A SPINE AND GROW THE FUCK UP, AND FACE THE FUCKING TRUTH!!!!!!’

    So, yeah…I exploded. And those comments were made on this very site then.

    I waited for the encore airing to see what happened, but it didn’t feel the same like what it would had I watched live. It felt empty and meaningless. But so is the cross I had to bear for my comments.

    So…yeah….there you go.

  20. Such great memories. I agree with you Jake, this is one of those seminal moments you look back on and are grateful that you were a part of.

    I was in Vancouver. I watched the first half downtown with the massive crowds, but then I had tickets to the Closing Ceremony so I watched the latter half inside BC Place on the big screens. We could hear Rogers Arena erupt next door when we scored. When the Canadian flag was raised, those of us who were already in the arena for the ceremony (probably 10-15000) stood and sang the national anthem.

    When the Closing Ceremony ended and I walked into the downtown core, it was full on Mardi Gras mode everywhere. And many impromptu street hockey games.

    Probably the closest I’ve felt to heart attack symptoms that day…and I was 22.

    • I watched at Fortune in Chinatown and then highfived my way to Robson/Granville where I was almost crushed in the crowd. It was awesome. My love for my country (and city) had never been stronger. The entire downtown area was madness.

  21. amazing post, great to read other people’s stories too.

    i was in detroit for school actually during that time. my class had a bunch of canadians and we knew we wanted to watch the game somewhere, so what better place then to cross the border via the tunnel and head over to windsor and find a place to watch the game. i guess we found the closest restaurant from the tunnel, which was honest lawyer’s. place wasn’t too bad, but had the required TV’s and usually had a good turnout. anyway, we travelled across the border 3 times to watch the russia game, slovakia game and of course the gold medal game. the russia game was great, although not many people turned out for it. i remember reading about the russia game saying it was the most significant game since 1972, and we handled the russians fairly easy. for the gold medal game, we were toying with the idea of going to the casino to watch the game, but way too expensive there, had to get there way too early and keep eating, it just wasn’t worth it. and, why mess with a great thing, so we decided to head back to honest lawyer’s.

    so for the gold medal game, we got there in afternoon , and place started filling up. we found a couple tables near the big tv, pushed them together so all 10 of us could sit there. everyone was wearing jerseys and the atmosphere was electric. once the toews goal went it, there was an empty area between our table and the TV. all of us just jumped like crazy, dancing, high fiveing random people. i already lost my voice after the first goal. the perry goal was just as glorious, i was confident we were on our way. as the time ticked down my heart was beating like crazy, i started to feel nauseous, and then the parise goal happened. i can’t even remember what i was thinking then. my mind just went blank, place went silent and my worst fears were coming true. the intermission before OT was torture, i couldn’t imagine we were this close to capturing gold and we somehow screwed up within the last 30 seconds of the game. OT was definitely painful to watch, i had my head down on the table the whole time. and then when crosby scored, i didn’t even see the puck go in. i just reacted to the crowd and the celebration. all of us immediately jumped up and started yelling and screaming. celebration spread out onto the streets and people started chanting and singing the anthem. some guy jumped on top of a bus and started waving the canadian flag. the street got shut down, cars tried to go through but were crawling. when a car did manage to get by the people, it was high fives all around to the people in the car. some guy was just dressed in tights and was non-stop chanting. i’ll never forget that goal and celebration afterwards.

    after all the hoopla, crossed the border back into lovely detroit. i was still on a high and i went to play rec hockey with a bunch of americans. definitely gloated all night.

    looking forward to 2014, go canada!

  22. We were up there a few days before the game, and loved the atmosphere in Vancouver. We came back across to WA state and I watched most of the game on TV. My wife was way out in Elma, WA sitting up higher in the stands at a High School Equestrian Event. She is a Canadian citizen, and when the PA system at the meet announced the OT win for Canada, she instinctively did a big fist pump and yelled “YES” really loudly-at an otherwise quiet moment… She said it was really awkward when about about 100 people turned around and stared at her.

    That group of Horse people had no clue about the meaning of that game to a Canadian.

  23. In the Brass Monkey in Taipei Taiwan. I want to say… 2 am Start time? (it’s not that bad for those of you in North America looking at Sochi next year). Watched with a group of great friends made over the previous 4 years, all die-hard puck heads (one brilliant backhand shelf writer was sitting at the next table if I recall correctly). There was probably 5 American bros out of the 200+ Canadians there, all sitting together, and boy, did they give it to us when Parise scored. Crosby goal was ridonk – afterwards all the drunks went to par-3, I went to work and fell asleep at my desk. The only bad decision I made that day, and I looked ridiculous wearing my Canada jersey with collar-and-tie on underneath.

  24. I moved to Calgary shortly after the Flames ’04 Cup run, and with their – uhhh – lack of success the last few years, I have missed out on seeing the Red Mile in it’s full glory. But that glorious, wonderful day, I got to see it as it was meant to be. Strangers hugging on the streets, people hanging out of pick up trucks holding Canadian flags, crowds singing the anthem, sheer jubilation. It was one of the greatest things I have ever experienced.

  25. I was at the game. It was an insane day that started at 8am with free beers courtesy of Molson and ended with the biggest street party I’ve ever seen. In between the emotions fluctuated wildly and we got a picture with Melody Davidson who was probably terrified that 4 drunken guys recognized her.

    One of the best days of my life. Thank God for Crosby’s goal.

  26. I am an American and lived in State College, Pennsylvania during the 2010 Olympic Games. At the time, I was a bartender at a small pub which dished out countless beers to the students of Penn State University. Its a job where you are always up late (4 or 5AM). The two weeks of Olympic Hockey while working that job may end up being the greatest two weeks of my life with a most tragic, but proud ending.

    I watched EVERY game of the entire Olympics. I cannot really remember being so obsessed with anything. I played hockey in college and am not good at watching games with non-hockey people. You know, the ones where you say “Oh, wow! Nice pass” or “I could cover Ovechkin on the PP by setting up a lawnchair on the leftwing dot!” and they have no idea what you’re talking about. Since I had no real hockey-people friends I watched the game at home in my basement duplex rooms I rented.

    What unfolded was the greatest game I have ever watched. The intensity of the game as a fan of the trailing team was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. When Parise scored I jumped off my couch, jumping so high I hit my hands and head on my low ceilings (living in the basement remember) and proceeded to shout for probably two minutes. My joy was short lived as, yes, Crosby scored what I now consider to be an appropriate goal for such a tight affair. The worst part about it was that the tournament was over…

  27. if you think you’ve ‘heard silence’ at a bar or whatever, try being at the game, where 19,000 people are ‘being silent’

    it was overpowering

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