Friday, November 8, 2013

Four Nations--Friday

I am here in Lake Placid in the famed Herb Brooks' arena.  It is difficult to believe that I am sitting in the same place where the United States defeated the Soviet Union in that thrilling game.  There are framed pictures throughout this room commemorating the 1980 games.

I arrived to see the last few minutes of the Sweden Canada preliminary. Canada just eked out a victory. This is surprising since the United States defeated Sweden 10-0 in a game on Tuesday, and Canada defeated the United States 4-2 on Wednesday night.  This counterintuitive result is a reflection of just how important motivation is in sports--and likely in all life.  Before they took the ice Team Canada knew that it was guaranteed a spot in tomorrow night's final. So, they apparently sleepwalked through the game with Sweden.  The next contest between the United States and Finland that begins in an hour will be different. The victor will play Canada tomorrow night.

The plane I was on this afternoon was the smallest commercial plane I have ever been on.  How small was it?  There were eight of us on board, including the pilot. One of the passengers sat in the co-pilot seat. I have been in station wagons that are bigger.  The pre flight speech was delivered by the pilot himself who took off his headphones and turned around to tell us that the flight might be bumpy.  He promised a ninety minute flight and ninety minutes later we had a perfect landing at Saranac International Airport.  Very friendly folks there.  Took me two minutes to get my bag, a thirty second walk to the car rental counter, a one minute walk to where the car was parked.  Kennedy airport it was not.

It is November 8th and it is snowing in Lake Placid.  Beautiful town.  Homes right on the various lakes. I can see why tourists flock to the area in the summer and also why people would love living here year round. The smell of fireplaces, quaint storefronts, hotels galore--some vestiges from the 1980 Olympics I am sure--, cute restaurants.  But it is cold on November 8th.

I wonder how many will be attending the US Finland game.  The arena was empty for the Sweden-Canada contest. You could have counted the house.  Tomorrow for the championship game might be different particularly if the United States is one of the contestants.  I am one of only four media folks in the media room, but it is still forty five minutes from the first period.  The chatter in the press room such as it is, is about the close score in the Canada-Sweden afternoon game.  I wonder if the small number of folks in the press room is related to the fact that this is a women's event. If the men's hockey team were playing in a tournament would the press room be a buzz?

No comments:

Post a Comment