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  #11  
Old 02-23-2011, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by LSN80 View Post
Context is important, but it isn't the be-all, end-all. But if we're going there, what BETTER context then the game between the USA and the USSR, at the Olympics? The Summit Series was merely a battle between two nations that disliked each other immensely, and as you acknowledged, knew LITTLE about each other. No game has held more relevance perhaps in American history then the Miracle on Ice game. The Olympics was about declaring the best in the WORLD, and the game happened to be between the two biggest rivals to perhaps ever made on an Olympic stage, given the context. And we knew how good the Soviets were, they had won the last FOUR gold medals and had drubbed us 10-3 in an exhibition before the Olympics had started. It was why Brooks adapted his gameplan to a hybrid between the American style fo dump and chase with the European free skating, puck possession approach. Having a coach who draws up a magnificent game plan and his team executing it is also part of the context for what makes for a great game, and Brooks knew that and did exactly that, ensuring that the USA came in prepared for the USSR. When you have two teams preparing for and familar with each other, a better conetst is generally bound to ensue. And the expectations for the Americans coming in can be summed up by Herb Brooks himself, right before the game between the two.
Context is extremely important when assessing the relative merits of any particular sporting event. It may not be the be all, end all of the question at hand, but it is very significant. With all due respect, you may have misunderstood where I am coming from in regards to context. No one is suggesting that the Olympic Games are not a big time stage for the showcasing of a particular sport or to highlight a particular game. In this regard, of course the Olympics are higher profile. The Olympics involve pretty much all countries on a global scale, while the Summit Series involved just two. But that is not my point.

The context involves the relative importance of the event, and the particular game in question, relative to the audience. The fact that the Olympics are on a grander scale is irrelevant to my point. My point is that even bearing in mind the scope of the Olympics, I feel the Summit Series held more significance and more passion for the typical Canadian sporting fan than the Olympic semifinal did for the typical American sports fan. I will delve a little deeper into this later. Suffice it to say for now that when game eight of the Summit Series was being contested, the entire nation of Canada was captivated. Whether you lived out west near the Rocky Mountains near Vancouver, or in the Prairies, or in the urban jungle of Ontario, or the francophone environment of Quebec, all the way into Atlantic Canada, the entire nation was spellbound by the event. Hockey fans were enthralled. General sports enthusiasts were too. Even non sporting people were captivated by the game. I don't feel that the United States embraced the Miracle on Ice with ten same degree of totality. Sure, there were plenty of American sports fans who were very into the whole majesty of the event of the USA/Soviet Union showdown. But I would suggest that it was likely localized pocketing of interest, much like hockey in the United States is perceived today. All along the Eastern Seaboard, where there is a nucleus of hockey interest in the country, or in the northern states, where hockey was/is relevant, passion was clearly evident. But head down into the southern states, where hockey was invisible in the '80's, and still is largely today, and I don't think the people in these areas were as drawn to the spectacle as you would suggest. Were people in Phoenix, or San Antonio, or Atlanta, or New Orleans drawn into the Miracle on Ice, in the same manner as people in Montreal, or Toronto, or Vancouver, or St. John's? I would respectfully suggest no, and this is the context to which I refer. As I stated earlier, in general terms, the Summit Series, specifically the final game, meant more to the collective conscious of Canadians than the Miracle on Ice did to the Americans. Big Sexy may try to suggest that this is not relevant, but I disagree. It is considerations like his that dictate which game is truly the best ever, as we look beyond the ice, beyond the field, beyond the lines, into the hearts and soils of the fascinated and passionate fan.

I find your assessment of the Summit Series as simply being a battle between two nations that disliked each other immensely surprisingly short sighted and naive. If you really believe this, my entire discussion of context has clearly fallen on deaf ears, because from the perspective of the Canadian sports fan, it was far more than this.




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Right there represented the sentiment shared by the Americans across the nation. They believed in this team. They were passionate about this team. They had seen what the Americans had accomplished in the earlier rounds of the tournament, putting expectations and pressure at an all time high. Still remaining the underdogs, the Americans took the faith and belief their nation had in them and delivered upon the weight of those expectations and still being seen as "less then" the Soviet Union. It truly was the greatest game ever played.
Again I have to disagree with the notion that the words of Herb Brooks were representative of the feelings of Americans across the nation. His feelings and his passion were palpable and real in himself, in his team, and in select hot pockets across the nation, but not the nation as a whole. I feel there were significant portions of the country that were ambivalent and oblivious to the Miracle on Ice. Such ambivalence is still seen in many areas of the country today, and they certainly permeated the sentiments of much of the country 3 decades ago regarding hockey, especially considering the American squad were underdogs and as such, likely did not have the force of the nation behind them.

I would be careful about these quotes from Herb Brooks as well. Hearing him say such things as they could play the Soviets ten times and probably lose nine, but that they would win tonight, while clearly a coaching tactic to rally the troops, is strongly suggestive of the fluke aspect of the game. If Brooks truly believes that they could lose 9/10 games and only win one, it could be argued that that one win was an aberration, and an aberration, a fluke if you will, hardly reeks of greatest game of all time. Canada went into the Summit Series fully expecting to win all 8 games. Their coaching staff did not tell them that they may lose 7/8 games and only win one.


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This is a humungous fallacy. The fact that this game, and not one of the Summit Series games, was one of the most broadcast hockey games of all time is a testament to that. In comparison with the USA/Russia game, the Summit Series drew only a paltry 18 million viewers as compared to the 52 million that watched the Miracle on Ice. If this importance was so much more prevalent as you claim, why did 34 million MORE people tune into the Miracle on Ice then they did the Summit Series Finale? That's a gaping difference that cannot be accounted for other then with the logical conclusion that the Americans were more passionate about this game then the Canadiens were the Summit Series and the Miracle on Ice game was considered to be on a bigger stage then the Summit Series was. Perhaps you're selling it a little short.

What's more, when a News Anchor in Washington DC accidentally broke the score of the game(As it was being showed on tape delay in the United States), the station and the female anchor were pelted by thousands of angry phone calls and death threats towards her. If "noone really cared", then why did these events occur? Obviously, the Americans at the time were much more passionate about the game and the sport of hockey at the time then you give them credit for.
This is absolutely not a humungous fallacy, in fact it is not even a slight exaggeration, it is take it to the bank fact. Of course the Summit Series drew considerably fewer viewers than did the Miracle on Ice. Look at the relative populations of the countries involved. While geographically smaller, the Unites States is far more populous than we are. As such, by default, there will be greater numbers of viewers of anything in the United States when compared to Canada. The fact that more people watched the Olympic semifinal than the finale of the Summit Series is irrelevant and misleading. The millions of more viewers of ten Miracle on Ice does not translate into a more raucous and passionate fan base, but instead is simply a result of population statistics.

I am unimpressed by your multiple references to the news anchor who leaked the results of the hockey game prematurely. I have conceded that there were pockets in the United States where fans were very exuberant and passionate. There will always be a lunatic fringe who will behave in this manner. This is totally irrelevant to the discussion at hand.


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You're right, it doesn't. But it does make for a greater game, especially when said underdog stands toe to toe with the greatest hockey team in the world for an entire 60 minutes and doesn't blink, defeating them in dramatic fashion by coming back from three deficits. People seem to live under the assumption that this was the only tournament game the US was a massive underdog in. They were massive underdogs against Sweden, the USSR, and Finland. Being an underdog was certainly part of the story in this game, without a doubt, and contributed to making it the greatest game ever played. But it wasn't the entire picture.
You are trying to have it both ways here. You nitpick my post a little further down here, saying that I should only be discussing game eight, that the other seven games are irrelevant to the discussion, because we are looking at the greatest game rather than the greatest series. So similarly, issues involving Sweden, Finland, or anyone else should be equally irrelevant, you can't have it both ways. Plus, I have earlier dismissed your assertion of the relative importance of the underdog card. Underdogs are not expected to win. They face lower expectations, less scrutiny, and by default less pressure. Pre-match favorites like Canada in 1972, who have to overcome adversity to win, impress me far more than underdogs who fly beneath the radar and pull it off in the end in an upset.


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Low expectations? Herb Brooks was handpicked because the Americans had HIGH expectations, and there was no greater motivator perhaps in the history of American hockey then Brooks. Brooks, used a tough, confrontational style that broke his players. Their conditioning was top-notch, a major factor in them upsetting the Soviets. All of their practices were contact drills in which Brooks would repeatedly stop practice to berate his players for mistakes and perceived weaknesses. Here's just some of the things Brooks said in preparing the team for the game.


Brooks knew the meticulous balance of being tough on his players, and motivating them, and he walked that line with expert precision. For those who would downplay the role of a coach in the success/greatness of a particular game, whose the first person we scream to go when our favorite team isn't playing well? The coach. We understand the importance of coaches in games, and for one night, Herb Brooks was the greatest coach of all time, which contributes to the fact that this was the greatest game of all time.

You overstate the significance of coaching in this discussion. I don't see coaches or coaching styles as being terribly relevant to the discussion at hand. Of course Brooks was a good coach and a tremendous motivator, but this has little to nothing to do with whether or not this was the greatest game of all time. I disagree with the sentiment that the choice of Brooks as head coach equated to high expectations. Expectations were low and you know it. They were significant underdogs and were not expected to win regardless of who was manning the bench. Of course they hired the best guy they could, but this does not translate into high expectations. How could expectations be high? After all, it was only hockey, right? It's not like it was football, or basketball, or even baseball after all



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And as for less drama, are you serious? Just to get to the game, the United States tied their first game against Sweden with 27 seconds left. They routed a heavily favored Czechoslovokian team 7-3 just to get there. As for expectations, the arena sold out with American fans. It was a sea of red white and blue for the USA/USSR game. Lets not forget the speech Herb Brooks gave his team before the game, or what happened in the game itself. The Americans tied the game with one second to go in the first period, causing who some to be considered the greatest goalie of all time in Vladislav Tretiak , to be pulled. They erased another deficit in the third period, took the lead with ten minutes to play, and took the play to the Soviets in a balanced last 10 minutes of play. They then made one of the greatest "defensive stands" in the history of sports, as evidenced by the video I provided earlier. This was high drama at it's best!
Here you go, trying to have it both ways again. Remember it is the best game we are talking about here, not the best tournament. If you tell me that games 1-7 of the Summit Series are irrelevant because we are discussing game 8 only, aren't discussions involving games with the Swedes and Czechs equally irrelevant? Once again, you are placing too much emphasis on coaching. And let's not even get into drama. Trailing 5-3 entering the third period in a must win game in Moscow in the early '70's during the Cold War, only to tie it up and then go ahead with just 34 seconds remaining, that's about as dramatic as it gets. Remember, Canada had to win. If 34 more seconds had elapsed, the game ends in a tie and the Soviet Union wins the Summit Series. That's as dramatic and exciting as it gets, especially carrying the weight of the nation on your shoulders in the process.

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No it doesn't. The Americans were under the same amount of scrutiny, if not more, then the Canadiens were. Far more people were watching the USA/USSR game then game 8 of the Summit Series. Note the death threats I mentioned above when a news anchor accidentally spoiled the results. The Soviets were even moreso bitter rivals to the United States then they were to the Canadiens because of the 2nd Cold War. I don't recall the Canadiens boycotting an Olympic game in protest the way the United States did in Summer of 1980. And if the way you're describing the games is accurate, the Soviet Union came in the "underdog", not two teams playing on an equal playing field. For all of the arguments to be made about the United States being underdogs, they were the equals and one goal better then the Soviets on February 22nd, 1980. The fact that they erased 3 1 goal deficits and got one of the most magnificent performances by a goalie of all time due to the stage it was in Jim Craig stopping 36 shots made the game all the more remarkable.
As for being passionate, watch the video I posted in my OP. That there is truly the visual definition of "passionate."
I have previously destroyed your points in this paragraph. The number of viewers is simply population driven. The news anchor drama is simply the result of the lunatic fringe amongst one of the pockets of localized passionate gas in the United States. As I said earlier in the thread,the Cold War was every bit as significant and intimidating to the Canadians of this era as it was to the Americans. Sure, political tensions between the US and USSR were
probably more direct, but this does not detract from the Canadian sentiment of the Cold War at the time and the relative impact this all played in the designation of the greatest game of all time discussions.


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These games are entirely irrelevant. Are you arguing the series here, or just the final game? It's difficult to tell, honestly, by the way you're presenting them equally.
That's right, I keep forgetting. Games 1-7 of the Summit Series are irrelevant here. Of course, the Americans games against the Czechs and Swedes are, strangely, relevant, as are their pre-tournament games against the Soviet Union to which you have made several references. I think this is called trying to have it both ways



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Again, I find this to be irrelevant. I understand that these games may have set the stage for the 8th game, but the question was about the "greatest game", not the "greatest series". The United States didn't win the Gold Medal, or were assured of medaling, after beating the Russians. A Russia win over Sweden and a US loss to Finland would have left the US in 4th place by virtue of goal differential, as this was a round robin tournament, not a single-elimination. Finland actually won the bronze and the USSR the Silver after all was said and done. None of those were factors as to why the USA/USSR game was the greatest of all time. It was because of the way the game was contested, the stage it was on, the great sense of national pride, and the players on the ice that made the game truly special.
See above. You can't have your cake and eat it too, as the old expression goes.

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Its funny that no major lists of great games see it that way. Was it a great game? Yes. Was it the greatest ever? Not even in it's own sport. The USA/Canada Gold Medal game in 2010 at the Vancouver Olympics was better, with the USA tying it with less then a minute to play on a goal by Zach Parise, and Canada winning it in overtime on a goal by Sidney Crosby. And that game couldn't touch the Miracle on Ice. Those "amateurs" went on to become multi-time all-stars and most of them HOF's. They were far more skilled then given credit for, and it showed in them erasing the 1-0 lead, 2-1 lead(with 1 second to go in the first on one of the greatest individual plays Ive ever seen), a 3-2 lead, and holding off a furious Soviet rally to win 4-3. For American's who look at hockey as it's "fourth sport' to pretty unanimously recognize it as the greatest game ever played says even more about it.
No, what actually is funny is these lists to which you refer. You know, the ones compiled by Sports Illustrated, or ESPN, and people like these. People with an inherent pro-American bias. Of course these guys rank the Miracle on Ice more highly than the Summit Series. They are American reporters commenting from an American perspective, and rightly so. And let's face it,a lot of these guys probably do not even know about the Summit Series. After all, it was only hockey, right, it's not like it was football, or basketball, or even baseball. And the Americans were not involved in any capacity. Wow, that's shocking, that the American population and the American media would rank an American event, hosted on American ice, involving American players, more highly than the Summit Series. Shock and awe.

And please do not compare any current tournament to either the Summit Series or the Miracle on Ice, because these are different times, this is a different world. Tensions are not as high, pressures are not as intense. The Cold War is over. Guys go from teammates, to Olympic rivals, and back to teammates again in a matter of weeks. As much as I loved seeing Canada beat USA in Vancouver 2010, it simply is not the same thing at all, and I know you are not naive enough to suggest that it is.



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Im pretty sure that the 55 million people combined who watched the game live and on reply would assure that regardless of what feature films were made about said event, America was quite aware and passionate about the game. If anything, you have things the opposite way around. It's the passion and high regard with which us Americans hold the game that spurred the making of two films and a documentary about it.
I think I have adequately dealt with this already.



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Game 8 of the Summit Series meant less to the world then the Miracle on Ice did, which is the true context that needs to be examined. I already showed that with the large disparity in viewership numbers and the outcry against a young female news anchor who accidentally gave away the results. What's more, the Miracle on Ice lifted American spirits, breathing life into a nation both from a hockey perspective but a national one as well. The heroics and the meticulously executed game plan of the Americans with Herb Brooks cannot be denied as well, as erasing 3 deficits in one hockey game while chasing the greatest goalie in the world is virtually unheard of. The heroics of Mike Eruzione in stepping up like a Captain does and scoring the game winning goal cannot be understated or undervalued. The defensive play of the underdog Americans and netminder Jim Craig in doing something the favorite Soviets couldn't on three occasions in holding the lead is also the stuff of legend. These factors combined easily contributed to making the Miracle on Ice a far more significant game then the 8th game of the Summit Series, and more importantly, a greater game as well.
I have already dealt with most of this stuff above as well. The simple fact of the matter is this. The Miracle on Ice was a tremendous hockey game, something which true American hockey fans (if you can find any ) could and should be very proud of. Hell, it is probably the second greatest game ever, and I do not want to understate its significance. However, when looked at in context through truly objective eyes, it has to be seen as secondary to the eighth and deciding game of the a summit Series. No doubt about it, this showdown between Canada and the Soviet Union in late September of 1972 is truly the greatest game of all time.

By the way, Big Sexy, I am not forgetting you either. But it is getting late here in Atlantic Canada, and I am calling it a night, but I will be back on here tomorrow to deal with you and to show you as well why game 8 of the Summit Series trumps anything the NFL Championships of any season has to offer.
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Sexy View Post
No. By big stage I was referring to the fact that it was the Championship Game to decide the best team in the NFL. Yes I added attendance and viewership numbers after the fact but that wasn't the main point I was making which is why if you read my opening post I put the viewership numbers AFTER talking about it being the game to decide who the best team in the league was. Nice try though. It's nice to be able to throw big attendance numbers out there but once again it isn't completely necessary and you also can't compare the stages of two events that are completely different not only in type but also in time period.
I simply reminded you of the things you pointed out in your first post. Once again, you brought up viewership first, not I. You added attendance and viewership numbers in the same sentence as you did "championship game" and "Yankee Stadium", so it would only be logical to assess your argument based upon ALL of the information you provided in said sentence. And as you said, it is impossible to compare the stage of the National Championship game to that of the Olympics. The Olympics is simply a bigger stage and this was the biggest game in the history of United States Hockey, both on a national and a global level. While that isn't the entire story, it is a piece of it, and an important one. A division III basketball game could be played, as you said earlier, with 50 lead changes and end in triple overtime, and it might be a great game. But you would be ridiculed if you tried to bring it into the discussion of greatest game ever played. It's not the same comparison here, but the stage for the Miracle on Ice was larger because of it's global scale, and it was in context determining who the best team in the World was, not just the nation. That fact cannot be discounted, and it shows that in terms of stage, a factor for determining the greatest game, The Miracle on Ice surpasses the 1958 Championship Game.

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Large disparity my ass and I have no clue where your 10 million person difference came from. You said the miracle on Ice had approximately 52 million people watching and I said the championship game was estimated around 45 or 50 million so that's a 7 mill disparity at the most. Take into account not just the fact that New York was blacked out but also the fact that the game was on a Sunday afternoon at 2 pm. The Miracle On Ice was in prime time. That makes a huge difference.

That's absolute bullshit and you know it. You're telling me that major TV shows coming on Sunday at 2 pm are going to get the same ratings as ones that take place in prime time. You're out of your mind if you believe that. Yes weekend afternoon numbers will be higher then weekdays ones but they still can't compete with prime time. It's called prime time for a reason. Why do you think Fox airs their prime time cartoons on Sunday night in prime time rather then in the afternoon? Why do you think the Super Bowl is played at 6:30 and not 1 in the afternoon?

Im not sure where this 50 million figure for the 1958 Championship suddenly appeared from, as you made it clear earlier that it was an estimated 45 million. Ive never seen anything that's indicated that the figures were more then 45 million, so im not sure where you're getting that from. We'll say for argument's sake that the viewership numbers for the Miracle on Ice was 52 million, which I originally did say. That's still a 7 million disparity in viewership, which is quite large. Seeing how that's the viewership numbers for the replay of a game, that's quite an astounding figure. You can keep repeating the blackout in New York figure, but Ive already shown how irrelevant that is based upon television ownership in 2011, and noting that ownership would have been much, much less in 1958. The prime time argument is a silly one as fans for a "Championship Game" would have tuned in to watch the game at 2pm(when the 1958 game was played) or at 6pm(when the Miracle on Ice was aired.) Considering it was a Sunday, the time the game was aired/played is a complete non-factor and you're grasping at straws here.

To prove my point, lets examine the viewership in 2011 for the NFC divisional playoff games, shall we? The Atlanta/Green Bay matchup, the more attractice of the two, was played on a Saturday at 8pm, in prime time. The less attractive Seattle/Chicago matchup was played on a Sunday at 1pm, certainly not in prime time. Yet the Atlanta/Green Bay game drew only 30.8 million viewers as compared to the 32.5 million viewers that the Chicago/Seattle game drew. Once again, using facts, Ive rendered the prime time argument negligible, using the most recent example available. Here's the article.

http://yourentertainmentnow.com/2011...-games-so-far/

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The Championship game had fumbles, the Miracle on Ice had penalties that led to power play goals. The Colts made a mistake on defense on the big pass play, Mike Eruzione was left wide open in the high slot on the game winning goal. You want to play that game we can play it but it won't get you anywhere. All games have mistakes and many times it adds to the excitement. Don't act like the Miracle On ice was some perfectly played game with no flaws from anyone.
This just furthers my argument even more. Both teams scored 1 power play goal. Both teams took 3 penalties. It wasn't as if one team capitilized on more mistakes then the other team did, it was an evenly played game, as I've been saying all along. The USA played with the Russians. They matched them in Power Play goals and Penalties. Three penalties per side(1 each being bench penalties for delay of game(USA) and Unsportmanlike conduct(USSR)) is very close to being a mistake free game in the sport of hockey. The Eruzione goal was one of a great United States forecheck punctuated by a diving play to get the puck to Eruzione, who was coming in off a line change, not a blown coverage. He beautifully used a Soviet defenseman right in front of him as a screen.


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Mistake free my ass. See above as to why. I mean, do you know you're typing out bull shit or do you just think no one will catch it? And how exactly is scoring the go ahead goal with 10 minutes left when you were left virtually uncovered dramatic?
Its hardly bull and you know it. There's a difference between going uncovered and coming off the bench at the perfect time on a line change after the defense utilized Brooks hybrid game plan to perfection and advanced the puck. Eruzione scored off a diving play by forward Mark Pavelich to keep the puck in the Soviets zone, where he came in on a perfectly executed line change, not a breakdown by the Soviets. There was a defenseman right in front of him, for goodness sakes! It's high drama when your goalie makes 36 saves, including 10 in the final ten minutes. It's high drama when a team overcomes 3 deficits and there are 4 lead changes. Ive already provided video of the final minute, which is high drama at it's best.

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I'll take a two minute drive late in the 4th quarter to send the championship game into OT and then an OT game winning 80 yard drive to win the championship over that. Another factor I haven't even mentioned yet is that well the %8 Championship game was just that, a Championship game. The US vs Soviet Union wasn't even for the gold medal.
And yet the game ws still on a bigger stage, for a bigger prize. The USA and the Soviets were battling in a tournament to determine the best team in the WORLD, while the Colts and the Bears were determing the best team in the United States, that year. One was for world-wide supremacy, the other was for one country alone. Ive already addressed your argument over which game was better, and done so in convincing fashion. Ill take the underdog team playing at the same level with the team considered to be greatest hockey team ever assembled. Two of the Russian players were elected into the Pro Hockey Hall of Fame(The NHL's HOF) despite never playing a game in the National Hockey League. There were 13 Hall of Famers total just on the Russian side between players and coaches, not to mention 10 more HOF's on the American side. Ill take the game with 3 comebacks and a dramatic final 10 minutes of the United States executing Brooks Hybrid game plan and conditioning to perfection.


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I'm not sure where your list came from because I didn't see a link to anything, just spoiler tags, but this list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SportsC...e_20th_Century

shows that ESPN Sportscentury picked the 58 Championship Game as the number game ever while the Miracle On Ice was number 4. Since you've put so much stock into this list of yours and mine actually has a link unlike yours, I guess that makes me right according to your logic.
My logic here is simple. I used a list comprised of fan votes, and a list comprised of experts from Sports Illustrated, CNN, and ESPN. So I got the experts opinion as well as layman's perspective. The links are provided below, and accentuate my point well. Both fans and experts alike chose the Miracle on Ice as the greater game over the 1958 Championship game.

http://espn.go.com/endofcentury/s/games/finals.html

http://www.baseball-statistics.com/G...tury/games.htm


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First off, again there's no link just spoiler tags around what is supposedly an ESPN article but I'm actually going to let it go this time. Want to know why? Because the article is clearly showing that this was a FAN voted thing. Since when do fans that vote in an ESPN.com poll provide proof of anything? Not only that but nothing in that top 10 predates 1975. I highly doubt many people online voting on an ESPN poll have ever even seen the 58 game.
The link to the article is provided above, and the reasoning for it is given above. The article clearly states that the list was narrowed down by voting to the top 10 games of the Century, not 1975 and beyond. You can spew all the B.S. you want about it being a FAN voted thing, but fans are entirely relevant here. Perhaps the fans don't hold the game in as high of a regard as you do. Perhaps fans aren't as aware of the game? They should be, right? After all, football is by far the most watched and beloved game in the United States, correct? This was the greatest game ever played and the most important in the history of NFL football, no? Yet it barely cracked the top 20 in the SI/CNN/ESPN expert's article, and didn't even make the fan's top 10. And while Im not suggesting this is the only thing that matters or is even the most important piece of the puzzle, it's a factor nonetheless. And in BOTH articles I provided, it's not even close.


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You pointed out nothing but the fact that you took my argument out of context with the stage thing and with the audience thing you just proved your lack of knowledge on the subject. Sunday afternoon should draw the same as prime time? Really?
I took nothing out of context as I quoted directly from your opening post. You're suggesting that Im saying that viewership and attendance alone is the entire context with the "stage", which is hardly true. Ive already dispelled the myth you've created over prime time automatically drawing higher figures then an afternoon game within the context of the the most recently available information possible. The afternoon game in this case OUTDREW the prime time game. Im not suggesting there's any correlation whatsoever between the time the game is played and viewership, you are. A correlation I proved to be false as well.


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I also fail to see how Brooks good game plan means the coaching in the Miracle on Ice was better then the 58 Championship Game. I'll take three HOF coaches on the sidelines over one coaches good game plan.
I fail to see how just throwing out three big names in Ewbank, Lombardi, and
Landry automatically means the game was well coached. While I outlined a specific game plan that a Hall of Fame coach in Brooks used, you just tossed three impressive names out there failing to mention what they did other then go on to have HOF careers. That's freaking phenomenal, but this is about ONE game. And in that one game, Brooks laid out a meticulous game plan for wearing out the Soviets that his team executed to perfection both in rallying from deficits on three occasions to take the lead but also to hold that lead for the final ten minutes of the game. As long as we're going there, Brooks is considered to be the greatest hockey coach of all time, and assistant Craig Patrick is in the HOF as well. So is Soviet coach Viktor Tikhonov, considered to be the greatest Soviet coach of all time. At the point of their careers in their respective GAME, Ill take the Miracle on Ice coaches over the 1958 Championship Game coaches.


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So you're telling me that Lombardi and Landry were horrible coaches yet somehow got head coaching jobs the very next year? Landry's defense held the best offense in the league to just 17 regulation points. Lombardi's offense struggled with turnovers but since when is that on the coach? The Patriots played like shit against the Jets in the playoffs this year does that make Bill Belichick a horrible coach? You've again proven nothing other then the fact that Brooks had a good strategy for Team USA. Obviously HOF coach Weeb Ewbank had a good strategy for the Colts as well because they won the game.
Talk about taking what I said out of context. Lombardi and Laandry are easily 1 and 2 in my book in terms of NFL coaches of all time. That's all well and good, but what I was referring to, and will continue to, is ONE game. I simply pointed out that for this one game, Brooks was perhaps the greatest coach of all time. If I convince you of one thing here, it was that on January 22nd, 1980, Brooks and staff performed perhaps the greatest coaching job of all time. He designed the hybrid style of play while emphasizing superior conditioning and the game plan was executed perfectly. Coaching is a factor here and Brooks, the greatest hockey coach of all time, was better then Ewbanks, Lombardi, and Landry in their respective games, which is ALL THAT MATTERS here. And the Belicheck argument is a silly one, he's a first ballot HOF coach. Having watched the Jets/Pats game, the argument could be made that he was outcoached by Rex Ryan and staff for one game, but that's not here nor there. What is relevant is that Brooks designed a magnificent style of play that's still used today. It was designed specifically for this ONE game, and it was executed to perfection.

In the end, Ive used outstanding factual information to show that the Miracle on Ice was the greatest game ever played, certainly greater then the 1958 Championship Game.
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by LSN80 View Post
I simply reminded you of the things you pointed out in your first post. Once again, you brought up viewership first, not I. You added attendance and viewership numbers in the same sentence as you did "championship game" and "Yankee Stadium", so it would only be logical to assess your argument based upon ALL of the information you provided in said sentence.
I think you need an English lesson. A sentence starts with a capital letter, has a subject, and ends with some form of punctuation. This was in my opening post word for word:

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To truly be known as the greatest game it is important that it is being played on a big stage. What bigger stage then the NFL Championship game at Yankee Stadium in New York? This was the game that decided who the best team in the NFL was and it happened in front of 64,185 fans in attendance and an estimated 45 million people watching at home.
The bold part is most definitely a sentence and mentions nothing at all about viewership. It is also a sentence that you completely got rid of when you quoted me to change what I was saying. That is the definition of taking something out of context. You obviously knew what you were doing otherwise you wouldn't have taken the bold part out of my statement when you quoted it.

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And as you said, it is impossible to compare the stage of the National Championship game to that of the Olympics. The Olympics is simply a bigger stage and this was the biggest game in the history of United States Hockey, both on a national and a global level. While that isn't the entire story, it is a piece of it, and an important one. A division III basketball game could be played, as you said earlier, with 50 lead changes and end in triple overtime, and it might be a great game. But you would be ridiculed if you tried to bring it into the discussion of greatest game ever played. It's not the same comparison here, but the stage for the Miracle on Ice was larger because of it's global scale, and it was in context determining who the best team in the World was, not just the nation. That fact cannot be discounted, and it shows that in terms of stage, a factor for determining the greatest game, The Miracle on Ice surpasses the 1958 Championship Game.
I already told you that while stage was one factor it can't be compared evenly amongst different types of sports and events. The NFL Championship game in 58 was being played on as big of a stage as it possibly could be, just like the Miracle On Ice was (minus the fact that the MOI game wasn't for the gold medal).

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Im not sure where this 50 million figure for the 1958 Championship suddenly appeared from, as you made it clear earlier that it was an estimated 45 million. Ive never seen anything that's indicated that the figures were more then 45 million, so im not sure where you're getting that from. We'll say for argument's sake that the viewership numbers for the Miracle on Ice was 52 million, which I originally did say. That's still a 7 million disparity in viewership, which is quite large. Seeing how that's the viewership numbers for the replay of a game, that's quite an astounding figure. You can keep repeating the blackout in New York figure, but Ive already shown how irrelevant that is based upon television ownership in 2011, and noting that ownership would have been much, much less in 1958. The prime time argument is a silly one as fans for a "Championship Game" would have tuned in to watch the game at 2pm(when the 1958 game was played) or at 6pm(when the Miracle on Ice was aired.) Considering it was a Sunday, the time the game was aired/played is a complete non-factor and you're grasping at straws here.
As I've done more research on the attendance I've seen some places that estimate 50 million viewers for the Championship game but we can keep it 45. I've already shown how the attendance numbers are skewed and besides all that, is a 7 million viewer difference really all that relevant to two completely different sports in two completely different time periods? You can't tell me that you are going to sit here and say the MOI was a better game because 7 mill more people were watching at home, especially with discrepancies in who got to see the game and the time slot. And don't use the fact that the MOI was tape delayed as an excuse. Most people had no clue of the outcome or the fact that it was even on tape delay. Those who did certainly would still tune in to watch, in fact it would probably make them more inclined to do so.

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To prove my point, lets examine the viewership in 2011 for the NFC divisional playoff games, shall we? The Atlanta/Green Bay matchup, the more attractice of the two, was played on a Saturday at 8pm, in prime time. The less attractive Seattle/Chicago matchup was played on a Sunday at 1pm, certainly not in prime time. Yet the Atlanta/Green Bay game drew only 30.8 million viewers as compared to the 32.5 million viewers that the Chicago/Seattle game drew. Once again, using facts, Ive rendered the prime time argument negligible, using the most recent example available. Here's the article.

http://yourentertainmentnow.com/2011...-games-so-far/
Since when does ONE random example prove a point negligible? You are comparing viewers from ONE Saturday night game to that of viewers from ONE Sunday afternoon game. That's it. I can easily show how the Pats/Jets Sunday night playoff game was the highest rated playoff game in NFL history (obviously not counting SB's). http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/stor...yoff-game-ever
If prime time wasn't important and didn't bring in more viewers then why are all of the biggest sporting events like the Super Bowl and WS games all in prime time? Once again though, none of this is that important. I brought up viewership as a little side note and you took it and ran to China with it. If you think 7 million more viewers for a 1980 Olympic hockey game makes that game better then a 1958 NFL Championship game then your argument is lacking substance.



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This just furthers my argument even more. Both teams scored 1 power play goal. Both teams took 3 penalties. It wasn't as if one team capitilized on more mistakes then the other team did, it was an evenly played game, as I've been saying all along. The USA played with the Russians. They matched them in Power Play goals and Penalties. Three penalties per side(1 each being bench penalties for delay of game(USA) and Unsportmanlike conduct(USSR)) is very close to being a mistake free game in the sport of hockey. The Eruzione goal was one of a great United States forecheck punctuated by a diving play to get the puck to Eruzione, who was coming in off a line change, not a blown coverage. He beautifully used a Soviet defenseman right in front of him as a screen.
Ok so you're saying everything that went wrong in the MOI is equated to even play and great coaching but everything that went wrong in the NFL Championship game is equated to sloppiness and poor coaching? Get out with that bull shit.




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Its hardly bull and you know it. There's a difference between going uncovered and coming off the bench at the perfect time on a line change after the defense utilized Brooks hybrid game plan to perfection and advanced the puck. Eruzione scored off a diving play by forward Mark Pavelich to keep the puck in the Soviets zone, where he came in on a perfectly executed line change, not a breakdown by the Soviets. There was a defenseman right in front of him, for goodness sakes! It's high drama when your goalie makes 36 saves, including 10 in the final ten minutes. It's high drama when a team overcomes 3 deficits and there are 4 lead changes. Ive already provided video of the final minute, which is high drama at it's best.
And on the 86 yard pass play for the Giants that helped bring them back, the receiver ran a great route, received a great throw, and broke a tackle. Yes he fumbled but the G Men had a player not giving up on the play and trailing it to make the recovery for an extra few yards. Both games had great moments, both games had high drama, but I'll take a game tying drive at the end of regulation and a game winning drive in OT over the US hanging on for the last 10 minutes of the game.



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And yet the game ws still on a bigger stage, for a bigger prize. The USA and the Soviets were battling in a tournament to determine the best team in the WORLD, while the Colts and the Bears were determing the best team in the United States, that year. One was for world-wide supremacy, the other was for one country alone. Ive already addressed your argument over which game was better, and done so in convincing fashion. Ill take the underdog team playing at the same level with the team considered to be greatest hockey team ever assembled. Two of the Russian players were elected into the Pro Hockey Hall of Fame(The NHL's HOF) despite never playing a game in the National Hockey League. There were 13 Hall of Famers total just on the Russian side between players and coaches, not to mention 10 more HOF's on the American side. Ill take the game with 3 comebacks and a dramatic final 10 minutes of the United States executing Brooks Hybrid game plan and conditioning to perfection.
Bigger prize? Last time I checked the Colts and Giants were playing for the NFL Championship. The highest honor in the NFL at the time. The US and USSR were playing FOR A SHOT at the Gold Medal. If this was the gold medal game you may have something but while the Championship game was, you know, for a championship. The MOI was for a chance to play for the ultimate prize in Olympic hockey. Basically the equivalent to a semi final game.




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My logic here is simple. I used a list comprised of fan votes, and a list comprised of experts from Sports Illustrated, CNN, and ESPN. So I got the experts opinion as well as layman's perspective. The links are provided below, and accentuate my point well. Both fans and experts alike chose the Miracle on Ice as the greater game over the 1958 Championship game.
And I also provide this link: http://espn.go.com/sportscentury/features/00134700.html that shows how ESPN SportsCentury's 48 member panel made a list and had the 1958 Championship game as number 1, obviously ahead of the MOI. What this tells you is that we both have lists comprised of supposed experts giving their "opinions" on what the best game is. Just like we are giving our "opinion" on what the best game is. We both have credible articles from sources (my source is credible I'm not sure about yours) saying which game was better but all that does is back up our opinion with more opinions. I'll stick to my fact based argument as to why the 58 game was better as opposed to going other places and getting more "opinions." Expert opinion is nice but we obviously both have it so it's a stalemate and has become irrelevant.




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The link to the article is provided above, and the reasoning for it is given above. The article clearly states that the list was narrowed down by voting to the top 10 games of the Century, not 1975 and beyond. You can spew all the B.S. you want about it being a FAN voted thing, but fans are entirely relevant here. Perhaps the fans don't hold the game in as high of a regard as you do. Perhaps fans aren't as aware of the game? They should be, right? After all, football is by far the most watched and beloved game in the United States, correct? This was the greatest game ever played and the most important in the history of NFL football, no? Yet it barely cracked the top 20 in the SI/CNN/ESPN expert's article, and didn't even make the fan's top 10. And while Im not suggesting this is the only thing that matters or is even the most important piece of the puzzle, it's a factor nonetheless. And in BOTH articles I provided, it's not even close.
I never said it was only about 1975 and beyond but when you get to fan voting the older things always get left out. The fans voted nothing in the top 10 before 1975. In your first article you have there are 3 events pre 1975 that made the list. Fan voting always has to be taken with a huge grain of salt. Fans vote for injured and non deserving stars for all star games all the time, they aren't the most credible source. 1958 was a long time ago. It's not like you can go on the internet and easily watch the game from start to finish. I'm not positive but the lists you have seem to be ones that are a few years older. Maybe if these fans had seen the 58 Championship documentary from 2008 their opinion would have been swayed. While football is easily the most popular US sport now back in 1958 it was no where near that. Smart, knowledgeable fans hold the 58 game in high regard and that's all that matters.



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I took nothing out of context as I quoted directly from your opening post. You're suggesting that Im saying that viewership and attendance alone is the entire context with the "stage", which is hardly true. Ive already dispelled the myth you've created over prime time automatically drawing higher figures then an afternoon game within the context of the the most recently available information possible. The afternoon game in this case OUTDREW the prime time game. Im not suggesting there's any correlation whatsoever between the time the game is played and viewership, you are. A correlation I proved to be false as well.
I've already shown you most certainly took my post out of context by completely deleting part of it. You also dispelled no myths at all. One example of an afternoon network TV game outdrawing a prime time one does nothing for me, especially considering the fact the games were played on two different days. You have proven nothing false. You can say something over and over as many times as you want but it doesn't make it true.




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I fail to see how just throwing out three big names in Ewbank, Lombardi, and Landry automatically means the game was well coached. While I outlined a specific game plan that a Hall of Fame coach in Brooks used, you just tossed three impressive names out there failing to mention what they did other then go on to have HOF careers. That's freaking phenomenal, but this is about ONE game. And in that one game, Brooks laid out a meticulous game plan for wearing out the Soviets that his team executed to perfection both in rallying from deficits on three occasions to take the lead but also to hold that lead for the final ten minutes of the game. As long as we're going there, Brooks is considered to be the greatest hockey coach of all time, and assistant Craig Patrick is in the HOF as well. So is Soviet coach Viktor Tikhonov, considered to be the greatest Soviet coach of all time. At the point of their careers in their respective GAME, Ill take the Miracle on Ice coaches over the 1958 Championship Game coaches.
Yes, and in that one game Tom Landry's defense held the leagues best offense to just 17 regulation points despite the offense turning the ball over multiple times. Weeb Ewbank had a great game plan to attack the Giants number 1 defense threw the air with his all pro quarterback and while Landry's defense was up to the task for the most part, the Colts strategy still yielded big numbers and an eventual victory. Coaches don't forget how to coach. When you're a great coach the game plan will be there, it's all about your players executing. That's why coaching really is a highly overrated thing to use when talking about the greatest game ever.



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Talk about taking what I said out of context. Lombardi and Laandry are easily 1 and 2 in my book in terms of NFL coaches of all time. That's all well and good, but what I was referring to, and will continue to, is ONE game. I simply pointed out that for this one game, Brooks was perhaps the greatest coach of all time. If I convince you of one thing here, it was that on January 22nd, 1980, Brooks and staff performed perhaps the greatest coaching job of all time. He designed the hybrid style of play while emphasizing superior conditioning and the game plan was executed perfectly. Coaching is a factor here and Brooks, the greatest hockey coach of all time, was better then Ewbanks, Lombardi, and Landry in their respective games, which is ALL THAT MATTERS here. And the Belicheck argument is a silly one, he's a first ballot HOF coach. Having watched the Jets/Pats game, the argument could be made that he was outcoached by Rex Ryan and staff for one game, but that's not here nor there. What is relevant is that Brooks designed a magnificent style of play that's still used today. It was designed specifically for this ONE game, and it was executed to perfection.
I took nothing out of context, I just asked a simple question. It seemed you were saying the coaches in the 58 game were horrible and I wanted to see if that was what you were really saying. There was some tremendous coaching in both games but like I said above I don't really see that as a big factor when discussing the greatest game ever.

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In the end, Ive used outstanding factual information to show that the Miracle on Ice was the greatest game ever played, certainly greater then the 1958 Championship Game.
No, in the end you've used decent facts, other people's opinions, and the ability to edit my quotes to prove that the Miracle On Ice, while great, is not better then the 1958 NFL Championship game.
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by hatehabsforever View Post
Context is extremely important when assessing the relative merits of any particular sporting event. It may not be the be all, end all of the question at hand, but it is very significant. With all due respect, you may have misunderstood where I am coming from in regards to context. No one is suggesting that the Olympic Games are not a big time stage for the showcasing of a particular sport or to highlight a particular game. In this regard, of course the Olympics are higher profile. The Olympics involve pretty much all countries on a global scale, while the Summit Series involved just two. But that is not my point.
I didnt misunderstand what you were saying in terms of context, I was simply adding to the contextual argument. I agree that context is a significant factor in determining the importance of the game. As I told Big Sexy, a Division 3 basketball game could be contested between two teams with 50 lead changes and 3 overtimes with a dramatic basket to end the game, but one would be ridiculed for dragging it into the argument of greatest game ever. Why? Because of context. The profile of the game, the stage on which it's played, the importance of the game to the participants and the sport, and the audience are all important factors. On the same token, a game can have all of those elements and be an absolute blowout, and any discussion of context goes out the window. It's important to remember that while context is important, its not the most important factor, regardless of what aspect of context we're referring to. The game and the elements within it itself are first and foremost the most important element.


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The context involves the relative importance of the event, and the particular game in question, relative to the audience. The fact that the Olympics are on a grander scale is irrelevant to my point.
It may be irrelevant to your point, but it's ENTIRELY relevant to the discussion. As I stated above with regards to the basketball game, the grander the stage, the more important the game. In this case, there is no larger scale then the Olympics. In this case, the Soviets were widely regarded to be the greatest hockey team in the world. So the American's were in essence playing for the right to be known as "the greatest hockey team in the world", and they succeeded in magnificent fashion on the biggest stage of them all. Within that context as well, the Miracle on Ice is entirely greater then the 8th game of the Summit Series.


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My point is that even bearing in mind the scope of the Olympics, I feel the Summit Series held more significance and more passion for the typical Canadian sporting fan than the Olympic semifinal did for the typical American sports fan.
I disagree, and the 35 million disparity in viewership backs up my point better then anything you may mention regarding Canadien pride, nationalism, or hockey being "Canada's sport." There's no arguing that. For that ONE game, with respect to Game 8 of the Summit Series, hockey was more important to the United States then it was to Canada. By 35 million people, to be exact.

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Suffice it to say for now that when game eight of the Summit Series was being contested, the entire nation of Canada was captivated. Whether you lived out west near the Rocky Mountains near Vancouver, or in the Prairies, or in the urban jungle of Ontario, or the francophone environment of Quebec, all the way into Atlantic Canada, the entire nation was spellbound by the event. Hockey fans were enthralled. General sports enthusiasts were too. Even non sporting people were captivated by the game. I don't feel that the United States embraced the Miracle on Ice with the same degree of totality.
Sure, there were plenty of American sports fans who were very into the whole majesty of the event of the USA/Soviet Union showdown. But I would suggest that it was likely localized pocketing of interest, much like hockey in the United States is perceived today. All along the Eastern Seaboard, where there is a nucleus of hockey interest in the country, or in the northern states, where hockey was/is relevant, passion was clearly evident. But head down into the southern states, where hockey was invisible in the '80's, and still is largely today, and I don't think the people in these areas were as drawn to the spectacle as you would suggest. Were people in Phoenix, or San Antonio, or Atlanta, or New Orleans drawn into the Miracle on Ice, in the same manner as people in Montreal, or Toronto, or Vancouver, or St. John's? I would respectfully suggest no, and this is the context to which I refer.
As I stated earlier, in general terms, the Summit Series, specifically the final game, meant more to the collective conscious of Canadians than the Miracle on Ice did to the Americans. It is considerations like this that dictate which game is truly the best ever, as we look beyond the ice, beyond the field, beyond the lines, into the hearts and soils of the fascinated and passionate fan.
I disagree. If anything, the Americans felt the same way, to a greater degree. Regardless of the region, this was BIGGER then a hockey game for the nation, so the entire country cared. Part of the reason the nation was so captivated was that the US had proposed a boycott of the 1980 Summer Games because of their disagreement over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and their storing of nuclear weapons. The United States set a dealine for evacuation for TWO days before the USA/USSR game, or the boycott would ensue, which it did. The United States and Russia became natural rivals as a result. This was bigger then the game of hockey at this point, so you better believe the entire United Staes cared, not just the nucleus of Americans that were more familar with hockey. Also, the popularity of President Jimmy Carter was at an all-time low due to the number of Americans being held hostage in Iran. On top of this unemployment rates and poverty were at an all-time high since the Great Depression. The United States was a broken nation on many regards. The United States hockey team had breathed life into a nation that had little to believe in.

When the US defeated heavy favorites Sweden and Czechoslovokia, it set up a dream scenario: The opportunity for the United States to find victory against their bitter enemy, the Soviet Union. Because of this, the entire NATION was enthralled, not just parts and territories. It was during this game that the "USA USA" chants said in UNISON that are popular and famous to this day began. The fact that the United States did win the game and exact revenge against our rivals was devastating for the other side as well, a contextual factor that needs to be mentioned. The Soviet players were so upset over the loss that they failed to follow the Olympic custom of turning in their Silver Medals to get their names inscribed on them.

The loss didn't impact the players alone, as it stunned the Soviet Union and its news media as well. The day following the loss to the United States, the Soviet news offices at Lake Placid's International Broadcast Center were closed, with only a note written by hand taped to the door of the office stating "Today Closed We Are." The USSR's leading newspaper, PRAVDA(the equivalent to USA Today) didn't even mention the game, both in the following days issue, or in its Lake Placid Olympic's final wrapup. I'd say the game was pretty important in context to both sides and BOTH countries, which only enhances the contextual importance of the game. Can you imagine a major news outlet today NOT reporting on the Super Bowl because its team lost? I can't, but that's EXACTLY what happened with the Soviets following the USA/USSR game. It's completely unheard of, but it showed the importance of the game to BOTH sides. No such occurences took place as a result of Game 8 of the Summit Series, did they?

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I find your assessment of the Summit Series as simply being a battle between two nations that disliked each other immensely surprisingly short sighted and naive. If you really believe this, my entire discussion of context has clearly fallen on deaf ears, because from the perspective of the Canadian sports fan, it was far more than this.
I understand that it was significant to Canada because that Soviet team had dominated hockey for more than a decade, and the two nations were "strangers" to one another in terms of playing against one another. I understand the passion of Canadien fans in believing hockey was and is "their" game. That's well and good, but that doesn't usurp the passion and emotion that was shown by the United States AND the USSR regarding the Miracle on Ice. I understand your argument that Canadiens today are far more passionate about the sport of hockey then us Americans are. But this isn't about today, it's about events from 31 and 39 years ago. When looked at within the context that you yourself outlined, Ive showed clearly how the collective conscience and passion of the United States and the USSR far outweighed the collective passion of the only group you've been arguing, the Canadiens. Within this context, it's an easy victory for the Miracle on Ice over Game 8 of the Summit Series.

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Again I have to disagree with the notion that the words of Herb Brooks were representative of the feelings of Americans across the nation. His feelings and his passion were palpable and real in himself, in his team, and in select hot pockets across the nation, but not the nation as a whole. I feel there were significant portions of the country that were ambivalent and oblivious to the Miracle on Ice. Such ambivalence is still seen in many areas of the country today, and they certainly permeated the sentiments of much of the country 3 decades ago regarding hockey, especially considering the American squad were underdogs and as such, likely did not have the force of the nation behind them.
What's relevant today has absolutely nothing to do with what took place 31 years ago. You are free to "feel" that there were portions of the country that were ambivalent to the hockey game, but you've shown nothing factual here to back this up in any way. The notion of being an underdog was a rallying cry for the Americans at the time, and it echoed the sentiment of the entire nation. Furthermore, what the American hockey team accomplished against the Soviets on the ice at Lake Placid in 1980 pales in comparison to what their accomplishment did to the hearts and minds of the American people. How much did people care? The other American hero of the 1980 games, with five Golds in five attempts, Eric Heiden, couldn't even get into the fieldhouse at Lake Placid to watch the game between the Soviets and the United States, because it was filled to legal capacity. Thanks to the magic of television, the victory over the Soviets was the catalyst for a spontaneous national celebration of epic proportions. 52 million Americans wept in unison, strangers hugged one another, and groups around the country broke into stirring renditions of "God Bless America" and "The Star-Spangled Banner." If that's not the OPPOSITE of ambivalence, I dont know what is. There is no possible way to discount 52 million viewers across the country watching a 5pm replay of a game that already transpired as "ambivalent". View the videos of Mike Eruzione's game winning goal and of the final minute of the game, and come back at me with your ambivalent argument. The reaction of those fans was the same sentiment demonstrated by the viewers watching across the nation, be they hockey fans or proud Americans.

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I have never seen anything like that reaction in my entire life. Bedlam, I believe, was the word used. The fans in the building, be they hockey fans or proud Americans, echoed the sentiments of the entire nation, be they hockey hotbeds or not. An entire nation was standing and cheering along with them. More proof that this truly was the greatest game ever played.

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I would be careful about these quotes from Herb Brooks as well. Hearing him say such things as they could play the Soviets ten times and probably lose nine, but that they would win tonight, while clearly a coaching tactic to rally the troops, is strongly suggestive of the fluke aspect of the game. If Brooks truly believes that they could lose 9/10 games and only win one, it could be argued that that one win was an aberration, and an aberration, a fluke if you will, hardly reeks of greatest game of all time. Canada went into the Summit Series fully expecting to win all 8 games. Their coaching staff did not tell them that they may lose 7/8 games and only win one.
Its called a motivating tool. The Pittsburgh Penguins have had one of the best defensive teams in the league for some time now. 3 years ago, coach Michelle Therrien called them out on National TV by saying "They suck. I think their goal is to become the worst defensive team in the league, and they're doing a great job at that. They don't care. They say they care, but they don't care." The team only responded by advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals that year, that's all. Sometimes, hearing yourself called out and told that you're "not as good" as another team is quite the motivator to go and prove otherwise. And the Americans one-upped the Penguins, because they responded to those words and WON. You conveniently left out the part where Brooks told his squad that "They were born to be there", and Their time is over"(referring to the Soviets) and "Go out there and take it!" Does that sound like a coach who believed his team was a fluke? I don't think so.

It sounds like a coach who knew how to motivate and inspire. Brooks was a big part of the United States victory, both with his words AND his actions. Not only was he an expert motivator, he created a style of play that enabled the US to skate with and eventually outskate the Russians. It was a system of puck possession and free skating combined with dump and chase that his players BOUGHT into and executed to perfection against the USSR. Ill happily talk all day long about both Brooks words and actions. The ice arena where the Miracle on Ice took place in Lake Placid? Its not called Herb Brooks Arena without reason.

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This is absolutely not a humungous fallacy, in fact it is not even a slight exaggeration, it is take it to the bank fact. Of course the Summit Series drew considerably fewer viewers than did the Miracle on Ice. Look at the relative populations of the countries involved. While geographically smaller, the Unites States is far more populous than we are. As such, by default, there will be greater numbers of viewers of anything in the United States when compared to Canada. The fact that more people watched the Olympic semifinal than the finale of the Summit Series is irrelevant and misleading. The millions of more viewers of ten Miracle on Ice does not translate into a more raucous and passionate fan base, but instead is simply a result of population statistics.
How does viewership not translate into people caring and being passionate? Along with the Gold Medal game against Finland, they were the two most watched hockey games for 30 years before the United States/Canada Gold Medal game last year overtook them. It currently stands as the third most watched hockey game of all time. Again, I could understand if the disparity was 5 or even ten million people, but its ludicrous to suggest that that a disparity of 35 million viewers is only indicative of population, and nothing more. As I said earlier, this was about so much more then hockey, it was about besting a bitter rival on the grandest stage of them all for the opportunity to say they were the best in the world. And 52 million Americans were right there with them, as passionate about the sport of hockey as they've ever been before, and have been since.

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I am unimpressed by your multiple references to the news anchor who leaked the results of the hockey game prematurely. I have conceded that there were pockets in the United States where fans were very exuberant and passionate. There will always be a lunatic fringe who will behave in this manner. This is totally irrelevant to the discussion at hand.
This is but a small part of my point regarding the passion of the fans toward the game. News stations across the country were under strict orders NOT to reveal the results of the game. Why do you think that was done? So the nation could watch, embrace the moment, and rejoice in unison. Ill agree that it's lunacy to threaten a life over a sporting event, but it also shows the passion of the fans. Here's one of the articles, from the Washington Post, regarding the leaked information.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcs...wjla_fail.html

The reactions of these people are priceless. It also furthers my claim about the passion of the American fans toward that one game.

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You are trying to have it both ways here. You nitpick my post a little further down here, saying that I should only be discussing game eight, that the other seven games are irrelevant to the discussion, because we are looking at the greatest game rather than the greatest series So similarly, issues involving Sweden, Finland, or anyone else should be equally irrelevant, you can't have it both ways.
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You completely missed what I was saying, apparently. You were describing each game in vivid detail, each with as much furvor as the next. I simply pointed out that what we're talking about is the greatest game,not series. My only comments were that the upsets over the Czechs and the tie with Sweden put the US in position to not only defeat Russia, but assume ownership of the title of "Greatest Team in the World." I didn't go into vivid detail as to how the games played out. There's a huge difference there.

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Plus, I have earlier dismissed your assertion of the relative importance of the underdog card. Underdogs are not expected to win. They face lower expectations, less scrutiny, and by default less pressure. Pre-match favorites like Canada in 1972, who have to overcome adversity to win, impress me far more than underdogs who fly beneath the radar and pull it off in the end in an upset.
You didnt dismiss the underdog notion whatsoever. You challenged it, but not with facts, rather, large assumptions. It's hardly flying under the radar either literally or figuratively when the entire collective nation is watching a replay, avoiding news at all costs. The Lake Placid fieldhouse where the game was played was filled to capacity with flag-waiving American's, chanting USA, USA, in unison. Those people believed because of what the United States had accomplished in the earlier rounds. They had seen the skill, speed, strength, puckhandling, and goaltending and were more then believers. People don't tune in generally when they believe their team has NO chance of winning. The underdog story is important, because it made the moment even greater. The United States had stood toe to toe with the favorite Soviets for 60 minutes and had bested them by a goal. They were buoyed on by a packed arena and their 52 million fans watching at home. Can the same be said for the Summit Series? I dont believe so.


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You overstate the significance of coaching in this discussion. I don't see coaches or coaching styles as being terribly relevant to the discussion at hand. Of course Brooks was a good coach and a tremendous motivator, but this has little to nothing to do with whether or not this was the greatest game of all time. I disagree with the sentiment that the choice of Brooks as head coach equated to high expectations. Expectations were low and you know it. They were significant underdogs and were not expected to win regardless of who was manning the bench.
I don't believe that I do, I believe that you completely understate it. When a coach designs a specific system aimed at defeating a specific team, the coaching is entirely relevant. When a coach ensures that his team's conditioning is of the level that it can skate relentlessly with the puck and without, the coaching is extremely important. When a coach knows how to mix the right amount of criticism with the right amount of praise to motivate one's team, the coaching is of maximum value. When Herb Brooks created the Hybrid system specifically for the Russians and ran full contact drills in the week heading up to the game, he ensured how valuable he was. When the speech of a coach before a game is remembered in it's entirety, Id say it was completely relevant to the game. Brooks value to the win over the Soviets cannot be understated and his coaching was a major contributor to this being the greatest game ever. Expectations leading up to this game weren't low, and that's the only thing that matters. This one game. The team expected to win, and that was because of Brooks.


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And let's not even get into drama. Trailing 5-3 entering the third period in a must win game in Moscow in the early '70's during the Cold War, only to tie it up and then go ahead with just 34 seconds remaining, that's about as dramatic as it gets. Remember, Canada had to win. If 34 more seconds had elapsed, the game ends in a tie and the Soviet Union wins the Summit Series. That's as dramatic and exciting as it gets, especially carrying the weight of the nation on your shoulders in the process.
I don't mind going there. The United States tied the game at the end of the first period with ONE second left. Because of that goal with one second left, they chased whom many believe in Tretiak to be the greatest goalie of all time, regardless of league. The US rebounded from THREE one goal deficits to tie and take the lead on a brilliant pass on a perfectly executed line change. The goal from Eruzione was a thing of beauty, as he used the Soviet defenseman as a screen to score the game winner. The final ten minutes is stuff of legend as the US withstood tremendous pressure in their own end and got brilliant goaltending from Jim Craig. The final minute, as shown above, is visual proof of drama at its finest. The United States had withstood the Soviet onslaught and bested them. There was no greater drama, and there's been no greater game.

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No, what actually is funny is these lists to which you refer. You know, the ones compiled by Sports Illustrated, or ESPN, and people like these. People with an inherent pro-American bias. Of course these guys rank the Miracle on Ice more highly than the Summit Series. They are American reporters commenting from an American perspective, and rightly so. And let's face it,a lot of these guys probably do not even know about the Summit Series. After all, it was only hockey, right, it's not like it was football, or basketball, or even baseball. And the Americans were not involved in any capacity. Wow, that's shocking, that the American population and the American media would rank an American event, hosted on American ice, involving American players, more highly than the Summit Series. Shock and awe.
The Miracle on Ice equally involved a foreign team, if I remember correctly, in the Soviet Union. You can keep repeating the same argument that it's "only hockey", which just furthers my point. Using your argument that hockey is a distant fourth to baseball, basketball, and football, it would figure that ESPN and SI would choose a game from one of the big three, right? Instead, they chose a game from "only hockey."

As for your assertion that "these guys" don't even know what the Summit Series was, here's an article that proves otherwise. It discusses the greatest hockey contests of all time, without ranking them. Not surprisingly, the Summit Series is included, as are many other international games.

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/winter...ory?id=1340012

These experts from ESPN are fully aware of what the Summit Series was, as this article shows. The other article I used, also involving ESPN, but also a ranking, placed the Miracle on Ice first. I think that question is sufficiently answered, but here's an International article that further proofs my assertion.

http://www.iihf.com/channels/iihf-wo...e-century.html

That's an article from the International Ice Hockey Federation., regarding the top hockey moments of the 20th century. What game tops the list? It's the Miracle on Ice. The Summit Series has TWO games on the list, so you can hardly argue exclusion or international bias here. It just falls behind the Miracle on Ice, once again.


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I have already dealt with most of this stuff above as well. The simple fact of the matter is this. The Miracle on Ice was a tremendous hockey game, something which true American hockey fans (if you can find any ) could and should be very proud of. Hell, it is probably the second greatest game ever, and I do not want to understate its significance. However, when looked at in context through truly objective eyes, it has to be seen as secondary to the eighth and deciding game of the a summit Series. No doubt about it, this showdown between Canada and the Soviet Union in late September of 1972 is truly the greatest game of all time.
Ive responded to each of your arguments, and countered them convincingly. In terms of context, Ive discussed how the Miracle on Ice trumps the Summit Series in terms of profile, importance of the game, relevance to the nation, and importance within the context of the sport. Ive provided viewership numbers that can't simply be shrugged off by "population." They're a representation of an entire NATION that was passionate about a game, and it's not even close. Ive shown how the underdog story is an important one in relevance to this being the greatest game ever played, and how coaching played a big factor in that. Herb Brooks is considered by many to be the greatest coach in the history of hockey, and much of this is due to ONE game, the Miracle on Ice. His value towards making it the greatest game ever played cannot be noted enough. Despite hockey being only a distant fourth in popularity in the US, Ive shown experts analysis from SI and ESPN which notes that the Miracle on Ice is the GREATEST game ever played. To eliminate any claims of "national bias", I provided an international perspective that also points at the Miracle on Ice. Finally, Ive shown how the game in and of itself was the greatest ever. Im not denying the significance of the Summit Series, especially to Canadiens, but it simply cannot hold a candle to the Miracle on Ice for the title of greatest game ever played.
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:47 PM
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With all due respect to my fellow posters, I think you both have gotten sidetracked from the issue at hand, and have gotten bogged down in the irrelevant. In the determination of the greatest game of all time, who really cares about attendance figures, or viewership rates, or the size of the stage upon which the match is being contested? Do we really care whether it is 45 million, or 50 million, or 52 million? Because I don't believe for one second that determination of the greatest game of all time can be made based upon attendance or viewership. Sure, they are one tangible means to assess interest in the game, but I think it goes without saying that all three games being discussed in this thread fit the bill for having suitable attendance and viewership to be considered in this regard. I would suggest to both of you that the final game of the Summit Series probably comprised the lowest figures, in terms of both attendance and viewership, of the three. Yet, it is still worthy of the designation of the greatest game of all time.

Again, it all comes down to context. What did the Summit Series mean to the typical Canadian sports fan and the typical Canuck, versus what did the Miracle on Ice mean to the average American, or what did the '58 NFL Championship mean to the average US citizen. The thing is, while I love the NFL and I think the '58 championship was very significant, in the end it ultimately only appeals to the professional football fan. It had no general appeal outside the realm of the NFL. It did not capture a nation. It did not appeal to fans and non-fans alike. It did not bring the nation to a screeching standstill. It got NFL fans excited, and while that is very significant as the NFL is huge in the US, it simply is not big enough to earn the distinction of the greatest game ever.

The 1958 NFL Championship game certainly had no lack of drama. But when push comes to shove, it was just one championship game in one season in one league. This game was cause to celebrate for whichever team would emerge victorious, and tremendous disappointment for the unsuccessful team, but ultimately, the victor would have bragging rights for one year, and the loser would have the ability to come back and try again next year. But there was no tomorrow in the Summit Series. Canada and the Soviet Union would not be playing a Summit Series again in 1973. The team who would emerge on top would have the ultimate bragging rights, which thankfully turned out to be Canada. For the Soviets, there was no second chance. Once unsuccessful, that was that, and the ultimate prize was gone. That's high drama. That's the stuff of legends. And a championship game in any professional league simply cannot bring this.

34 seconds remained in the game when Canada scored the go ahead, and ultimately winning, goal. That brings more drama than a late game drive to tie a football game, and an overtime drive to secure it. 34 seconds. I simply cannot agree that the drama elicited by the football can equal this. The very nature of football is different than hockey in this regard. Football by nature is an ongoing progression of plays. Sustained drives that while very exciting and significant, do not have the sudden impact of hockey. Hockey involves simultaneous offense and defense, with the result changing in the blink of an eye, whereas football is a more gradual progression of events. Hockey simply lends itself more to the sudden drama more so than football does.

In the end, what constitutes the greatest game of all time all comes down to personal preference, personal tastes, and there will never be a clear and undebatable decisive choice. All three of these games were tremendous,y significant from a historical perspective in the world of sports. But again, when taken in context, the Summit Series has to be seen as the greatest of the great. The most significant result to the people most invested in it. The most dramatic. The most exciting. In Canada, people still talk about the Summit Series like it was yesterday, and hoist the players up on a pedestal as sports icons just the same today as they did nearly four decades ago. Do Americans still talk about the '58 NFL Championship with the same fondness and passion as Canadians do about the Summit Series. Frankly, I was not even aware of the details of the '58 game until I specifically google searched it to review the details. Meanwhile, I know all about the Summit Series like the back of my hand. It simply comes down to context, national significance, passion, drama, and appealing to an entire nation, rather than a subsection of the population who follow one specific league in one particular sport.

I maintain my position. The greatest game ever played was the eighth and deciding game of the Summit Series in 1972. Maybe you need to be a Canadian sports enthusiast to truly appreciate it.
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Big Sexy View Post
The bold part is most definitely a sentence and mentions nothing at all about viewership. It is also a sentence that you completely got rid of when you quoted me to change what I was saying. That is the definition of taking something out of context. You obviously knew what you were doing otherwise you wouldn't have taken the bold part out of my statement when you quoted it.
Lets take a look at your post and my opening response to you, shall we?

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Originally Posted by Big Sexy View Post
To truly be known as the greatest game it is important that it is being played on a big stage. What bigger stage then the NFL Championship game at Yankee Stadium in New York? This was the game that decided who the best team in the NFL was and it happened in front of 64,185 fans in attendance and an estimated 45 million people watching at home.
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Originally Posted by LSN80 View Post
I agree, and what bigger and better stage for a game to take place then on a Worldwide stage, the Olympics? This game was also played in New York, at Lake Placid, where it drew full capacity. The same can't be said be for the Baltimore/New York game, which came in 3,020 under capacity. Further, this wasn't just the game of American football being focused on, the eyes of the world were on the Olympics. And more importantly, those eyes were focused on the game between the United States and the USSR. This game didn't just decide who the best team in one league was, it decided who the best team in the world was. A bigger stage for a bigger game.
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The bold part is most definitely a sentence and mentions nothing at all about viewership. It is also a sentence that you completely got rid of when you quoted me to change what I was saying. That is the definition of taking something out of context. You obviously knew what you were doing otherwise you wouldn't have taken the bold part out of my statement when you quoted it.
As you can easily see(or if you just read post 6 in this thread), I quoted your post verbatim. I addressed the issue in it's entirety the first time around succintly and successfully. Just because I didn't feel the need to quote-mime you over and over means nothing, as I took nothing out of context. I addressed your entire post the first time, and re-addressed issues as they were brought up. I don't know where this crap is coming from that Im taking you out of context, unless it's simply an attempt to distract from the fact that you've provided little factual information to back up your claims.

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I already told you that while stage was one factor it can't be compared evenly amongst different types of sports and events. The NFL Championship game in 58 was being played on as big of a stage as it possibly could be, just like the Miracle On Ice was (minus the fact that the MOI game wasn't for the gold medal).
You're right, the stage can't be compared equally between the 1958 Championship game and the 1980 Miracle on Ice. The "big as it could have been" argument is a weak one, as Ive already discussed. Like I stated earlier, the best division III college basketball teams can play a back and forth game with 50 lead changes and 6 overtimes and a heroic last second basket, but they're playing in front of 2,000 people or so, and it would be ludicrous to include them in the discussion of greatest game because it was as "big as it could have been." The simple fact of the matter is the Olympics were the biggest stage, and this was the biggest game of that Olympics, and perhaps in the history of the Olympics. The stage is a factor and there simply is no comparison whatsoever.



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As I've done more research on the attendance I've seen some places that estimate 50 million viewers for the Championship game but we can keep it 45. I've already shown how the attendance numbers are skewed and besides all that, is a 7 million viewer difference really all that relevant to two completely different sports in two completely different time periods? You can't tell me that you are going to sit here and say the MOI was a better game because 7 mill more people were watching at home, especially with discrepancies in who got to see the game and the time slot. And don't use the fact that the MOI was tape delayed as an excuse. Most people had no clue of the outcome or the fact that it was even on tape delay. Those who did certainly would still tune in to watch, in fact it would probably make them more inclined to do so.
Ive discussed how viewership is relevant in terms of context to the game overall. Ive discussed how the championship game didn't even sell out, so even the argument of "the best they could" doesn't hold water here, because of those 3,000+ vacant seats at Yankee Stadium. As for attendance, Ive noted how the US/USSR game wasn't topped for over 30 years until USA/Canada in the Gold Medal game in 2010, which was live. Ive already discredited the idea of time slot and discrepencies in viewership. As for the 1958 championship game, the viewership of the Super Bowl in 1980 was only 35.3 million, which is actually down almost 10 million from the 1958 Championship game. So it's safe to say that we can look at time periods with relevance. The 1958 game was obviously more relevant to viewers then the 1980 game, by 10 million viewers. The USA/USSR game was the most relevant game in hockey along with the USA/Finland game(the viewership numbers were virtually the same) for 30 years as they drew the largest numbers until that 2010 game. So we can look at viewership in context of different time frames given those facts, and the viewership for the Miracle on Ice was 7 million stronger then the 1958 Championship game. There's no denying that fact, or that viewership plays a small factor here. And again the advantage goes to the Miracle on Ice.

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Since when does ONE random example prove a point negligible? You are comparing viewers from ONE Saturday night game to that of viewers from ONE Sunday afternoon game. That's it. I can easily show how the Pats/Jets Sunday night playoff game was the highest rated playoff game in NFL history (obviously not counting SB's). http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/stor...yoff-game-ever
If prime time wasn't important and didn't bring in more viewers then why are all of the biggest sporting events like the Super Bowl and WS games all in prime time?
I used the most recent example available. In that example, the more attractive prime time game in Green Bay/Atlanta drew less then the less attractive, non-prime time game in Chicago/Seattle. My entire point is that it's impossible for you to validate the idea that a prime time game will automatically attract more viewers. And your Jets/Patriots game is a terrible example because it was played at 4:30 in the afternoon, which is hardly a prime time game. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_time Most of the World Series games are played during the work week, so it would be ludicrous to play the game during the day when most people in its target demographic are working. It's completely different when you're talking about a non-working day in a Sunday, and a simple four hour difference in between game times. The fact of the matter is, in the case of the weekend, especially Sunday, people will find the time to watch what's important to them.

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Once again though, none of this is that important. I brought up viewership as a little side note and you took it and ran to China with it. If you think 7 million more viewers for a 1980 Olympic hockey game makes that game better then a 1958 NFL Championship game then your argument is lacking substance.
Ive noted that this is a small factor, if you've bothered to read it. 7 million is a large disparity when you compare it across the same nation. You're the one who initially brought up the ide of viewership, and I succinctly and successfully showed how despite the fact that it is a small factor, it's still in favor of the 1980 game. It's not a substantial part of my argument, and Ive never argued it as such.

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Ok so you're saying everything that went wrong in the MOI is equated to even play and great coaching but everything that went wrong in the NFL Championship game is equated to sloppiness and poor coaching? Get out with that bull shit.
I said no such thing. I simply noted how the Miracle on Ice team had a succinct game plan that was derived from a style of play that was invented specifically for that game, and then executed by its players. Herb Brooks designed a system specifically aimed at beating the Soviets, so it worked. I can't speak to the game plan of the Giants/Colts game as it's not the game Im arguing but I can argue sloppiness in 3 fumbles and a muffed punt just on one side by the Giants. You use absolutes such as everything and that's hardly what Im saying. There were mistakes made in both games and that certainly goes on the players, in both cases. Im just arguing that the Miracle on Ice was partly the result of a system developed specifically for the game, and the execution of it. Quit jumping to conclusions and get your facts straight son.

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Both games had great moments, both games had high drama, but I'll take a game tying drive at the end of regulation and a game winning drive in OT over the US hanging on for the last 10 minutes of the game.
Again, something we can go back and forth on forever and we simply won't agree. Ill take the US erasing 3 Soviet leads, including one with one second to go in the first period. I'll take the US riding a hot goalie in the second period. Ill take the US tying the game then going ahead in the third with a goal on a great diving play and perfectly executed line change with a perfectly placed screen shot through the five hole. Ill take the US taking the play to the Soviets as much as they defended in the final ten minutes, and Ill take the greatest final minute of drama in the history of any sport in the Miracle on Ice.

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Bigger prize? Last time I checked the Colts and Giants were playing for the NFL Championship. The highest honor in the NFL at the time. The US and USSR were playing FOR A SHOT at the Gold Medal. If this was the gold medal game you may have something but while the Championship game was, you know, for a championship. The MOI was for a chance to play for the ultimate prize in Olympic hockey. Basically the equivalent to a semi final game.
This is a common misconception about the USA/USSR game. Most people assume that this was a semi-final game, which is an absolute fallacy. This was a round-robin event until the end, not a tournament, so overall record is what mattered most. The US had a tie entering the game against the undefeated Soviets, so this was an all or nothing game for the United States. Either they won the game, or they didn't medal whatsoever. This was the biggest game of the Olympics against the greatest team in the world, which the United States won, giving them the right of calling themselves the greatest team in the world. The USSR actually won Silver in the games, backing up my claim that their game was the most important. Ill take the most important game in the world over the most important game in a 12 team league, regardless of its impact on football. The Miracle on Ice meant so much more.

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And I also provide this link: http://espn.go.com/sportscentury/features/00134700.html that shows how ESPN SportsCentury's 48 member panel made a list and had the 1958 Championship game as number 1, obviously ahead of the MOI. What this tells you is that we both have lists comprised of supposed experts giving their "opinions" on what the best game is. Just like we are giving our "opinion" on what the best game is. We both have credible articles from sources (my source is credible I'm not sure about yours) saying which game was better but all that does is back up our opinion with more opinions. I'll stick to my fact based argument as to why the 58 game was better as opposed to going other places and getting more "opinions." Expert opinion is nice but we obviously both have it so it's a stalemate and has become irrelevant.
The link you provided is nothing more then the actual article from the Wikipedia one you posted earlier. Its not new information, its the same information as before, just confirming ESPN as the author, nothing more. And if my source comprised of both Sports Illustrated and ESPN, the same site you used, isn't credible, then neither is yours. Expert opinion is nice and all but it only tells a small part of the story as it's only a few men putting their opinions out there. Like you said, it's a wash and really not relevant here to this argument. I like the facts Ive provided on the 1980 Miracle Game and Ill continue to stand by them. As you said, it's a stalemate in terms of expert opinion, which certainly renders it irrelevant here.

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I never said it was only about 1975 and beyond but when you get to fan voting the older things always get left out. The fans voted nothing in the top 10 before 1975. In your first article you have there are 3 events pre 1975 that made the list. Fan voting always has to be taken with a huge grain of salt. Fans vote for injured and non deserving stars for all star games all the time, they aren't the most credible source. 1958 was a long time ago. I'm not positive but the lists you have seem to be ones that are a few years older. Maybe if these fans had seen the 58 Championship documentary from 2008 their opinion would have been swayed. While football is easily the most popular US sport now back in 1958 it was no where near that. Smart, knowledgeable fans hold the 58 game in high regard and that's all that matters.
Ill be the first to admit that fan voting is to be taken lightly, but its to be taken nonetheless. In this case, the list was from 2001, but the list still was about the century. I also will acknowledge that the casual fan tends to forget about older games, but it would be silly to suggest that every fan who voted in said poll was a "casual fan." I hold the 1958 championship game in the highest regard out of respect for Johnny Unitas, Frank Gifford, Ewbanks, Lombardi, and Landry, as well as the impact it's had on the game of professional football. I recognize that football was 3rd in the 50's in terms of popularity behind baseball and basketball as well, but when this list was comprised, football was the most popular sport. And yet the fans far and away chose the Miracle on Ice, by over 30%. Even if it's to be taken lightly, its still a factor to consider.


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I've already shown you most certainly took my post out of context by completely deleting part of it. You also dispelled no myths at all. One example of an afternoon network TV game outdrawing a prime time one does nothing for me, especially considering the fact the games were played on two different days. You have proven nothing false. You can say something over and over as many times as you want but it doesn't make it true.
And Ive shown clearly earlier in my post that in my initial argument, I addressed all parts of your argument, taking absolutely nothing out of context. You can continue to distract with this silly argument that I didn't quote you word for word in EVERY post, but it's just distracting from the fact that your facts don't match mine here. The example I gave was a perfect example of how prime time doesn't always pop bigger viewership, and how prime-time is essentially irrelevant to this debate. It's true, Ive shown it, whether you want to recognize it or not.

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Yes, and in that one game Tom Landry's defense held the leagues best offense to just 17 regulation points despite the offense turning the ball over multiple times. Weeb Ewbank had a great game plan to attack the Giants number 1 defense threw the air with his all pro quarterback and while Landry's defense was up to the task for the most part, the Colts strategy still yielded big numbers and an eventual victory. Coaches don't forget how to coach. When you're a great coach the game plan will be there, it's all about your players executing. That's why coaching really is a highly overrated thing to use when talking about the greatest game ever.
I took nothing out of context, I just asked a simple question. It seemed you were saying the coaches in the 58 game were horrible and I wanted to see if that was what you were really saying. There was some tremendous coaching in both games but like I said above I don't really see that as a big factor when discussing the greatest game ever.
Here is where we totally disagree. I believe that coaching in this one game played a tremendous role. With no disrespect to Landry, Ewbank, or Lombardi, Brooks was the better coach for ONE game. He designed a hybrid style of play that meshed the American style of dump and chase with the European style of puck possession, free skating, and superb conditioning. In the week in between the Czech game and the USSR game, he focused on full contact drills with the goal of skating with the opposition and wearing them down. Brooks also masterfully motivated them in this game, as how many games can you recall when the pre-game speech is actually remembered word for word? Can that be said about the 58 Championship game? Brooks expertly played up the underdog aspect while emphasizing the belief in his team.

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Originally posted by Herb Brooks: Great moments are born from great opportunity. And that's what you have here tonight, boys. That's what you've earned here, tonight. One game. If we played 'em ten times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight. Tonight, we skate with 'em. Tonight, we stay with 'em, and we shut them down because we can! Tonight, we are the greatest hockey team in the world. You were born to be hockey players—every one of ya. And you were meant to be here tonight. This is your time. Their time—is done. It's over. I'm sick and tired of hearin' about what a great hockey team the Soviets have. Screw 'em! This is your time!! Now go out there and take it!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herb_Brooks


In the end, it comes down to the execution of the players, but Brooks did everything possible to set them up for success. And they went out there and executed his game plan to perfection. The players ultimately wore the Soviets down with their style of play, executing Brook's game plan to perfection. In this case, coaching was a large part of what made this the greatest game of all time.

Quote:
No, in the end you've used decent facts, other people's opinions, and the ability to edit my quotes to prove that the Miracle On Ice, while great, is not better then the 1958 NFL Championship game.
When it comes down to it, Ive used excellent facts, acknowledged that our opinions are a wash, and have shown how I completely addressed your post succintly and successfully, and your incessant insistance otherwise is nothing more then a distraction from the fact that your facts don't add up to mine. One thing certainly adds up: The facts clearly show that the Miracle on Ice was the greater game then the 1958 NFL championship game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hatehabsforever View Post
With all due respect to my fellow posters, I think you both have gotten sidetracked from the issue at hand, and have gotten bogged down in the irrelevant. In the determination of the greatest game of all time, who really cares about attendance figures, or viewership rates, or the size of the stage upon which the match is being contested? Do we really care whether it is 45 million, or 50 million, or 52 million? Because I don't believe for one second that determination of the greatest game of all time can be made based upon attendance or viewership.
This isn't irrelevant whatsoever, nor is it sidetracked from the topic at hand, When discussing the notion of greatest game ever played, there are a myriad of factors that must be discussed. Viewership numbers do matter, especially when they're so substantially greater. Ive shown that they're relevantly greater with regards to the Miracle on Ice in regards to the 1958 Championship Game, and substantially greater then the Summit Series. While they're not the entire picture, they do play a role in determining the greatest game, as they're indicative of the stage. My basketball example is the best proof of this. So these facts are entirely relevant in determining the greatest game, and the Miracle on Ice wins in both cases.

Ill post my closing argument tomorrow.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:51 AM
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I think the three of us have adequately beaten this topic to death over the last several days, so I think I will wrap up my contribution to the discussion here in a relatively brief post. Kudos to both Big Sexy and LSN80 for bringing excellence to the debate yet again, as they have done throughout the competition.

Unfortunately for the both of them, excellence of debating does not necessarily translate into correctness. And while they both made superb points and expressed them very clearly, in the end, they both made the wrong call. Big Sexy picked what could be argued to be the third greatest game in his references to the 1958 NFL Championship Game. LSN80 got even closer, picking the second most significant game in the Miracle on Ice of 1980. But in the end, the simple fact of the matter is this. The single greatest game ever played comes down to one choice and one choice only, the eighth and deciding game of the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the Soviet Union.

Never mind clouding the discussion with talk of which game featured the greatest attendance figures, or the highest television viewership, or details like these. Sure, these are indicators of how interested people were in an event, but they in and of themselves mean very little. Such numbers are clouded by population statistics, geography, and i simply think it is incorrect to suggest a game is the greatest ever because it was the highest in terms of such numbers. These numbers are misleading and ultimately result in the wrong conclusion being drawn. Simply put, Canada will never compete with the United States in terms of any numbers like these, as the population discrepancy between the two is simply too great.

What determines the greatest game of all time? For one thing, the game must be played at the highest level of the sport in question at the time it was played. It must involve the best of the best, putting it all out there on a grand stage. The Summit Series has this. The top players of the NHL, who happened to be the Canadians, versus the highly skilled and disciplined Soviet Union squad. The MOI did not really have this, as the American team were amateurs, underdogs, overachievers, many of whom became household names, but weren't at the time. The NFL game of '58 featured just two teams in one professional league. Granted they were tremendous and legendary players, but in the end, this does not carry the same scope as the Summit Series.

The game has to be of the highest quality and feature drama and intrigue which captives it's audience. All three of the choices here have this and then some, so this point will be hard for any of us to really debate. As a Canadian sports enthusiast, though, the details of the final Summit Series just do it for me far more so than the other choices. A must win game in a hostile environment during the Cold War, in a time period when tensions were highest from a sports perspective as well as political and social parameters, with the winning goal being scored by a journeyman with only 34 seconds remaining, with the weight of a nation your shoulders, it is hard to discount the significance of this.

Ultimately, the greatest game of all time has to be one that still inspires drama, nationalistic pride, and relevance, one that is still viewed as fondly today as it was at the time of the event. Talk to any Canadian today. Talk to them about the Summit Series, about the goal heard around the world, compliments of Paul Henderson, about the Phil Esposito speech, etc., and it still has meaning and relevance to this day. It transcends sports, and always has. I posed the question to my dad yesterday, which do you think was the greatest game ever played. Without hesitation, he said the Summit Series finale featuring Paul Henderson's goal. I feel the exact same way. And now my 11 year old son does too. It was epic. It was magical. It brought a nation together like nothing else could. When I asked my dad about the the '58 NFL game, he said "who? What game? Don't know that one.". Regarding the Miracle on Ice, he was well aware of that one, but of course felt it paled in comparison to the Summit Series.

Talk to a casual sporting fan about the 1958 NFL Championship Game, and I guarantee you, most will have no recollection of it. Sure, avid sports fanatics like Big Sexy will appreciate it, but he is the exception to the rule. Talk to most people about the Miracle on Ice, and they will clearly remember it as it was a tremendously significant hockey game, but it will not inspire the same passion as the Summit Series does for the average Canadian. In the end, hockey in the United States just will never reach that level of significance for the average guy. It never has and it likely never will. At the 1980 Olympics, with the political turmoil of the era as it was, you probably would have gotten 50 million people to tune in to watch practically anything between these two rivals. It was not the significance of the game in particular, but rather, the significance of the us versus them philosophy of the time. It could have been a game of tiddlywinks, and the Americans would have tuned in to see it if it was contested against the Soviets. Because it was the situation, more so than the game itself, that inspired the response, I simply cannot give the nod to the Miracle on Ice. It has to go to the deciding game of the Summit Series.

When evaluating the opinions expressed in this thread, all I ask of the judges is one thing and one thing only. Put on a toque, crack open a bottle of Molson Canadian, and evaluate this question through the eyes of a Canadian as well as that of an American. I think if you do, the choice will be clear. The greatest game of all time has to be the finale of the Summit Series on September 26, 1972.
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSN80 View Post
Lets take a look at your post and my opening response to you, shall we?

As you can easily see(or if you just read post 6 in this thread), I quoted your post verbatim. I addressed the issue in it's entirety the first time around succintly and successfully. Just because I didn't feel the need to quote-mime you over and over means nothing, as I took nothing out of context. I addressed your entire post the first time, and re-addressed issues as they were brought up. I don't know where this crap is coming from that Im taking you out of context, unless it's simply an attempt to distract from the fact that you've provided little factual information to back up your claims.
You are quite the card. Yes the first time you responded fine to my post but you damn well you took my post out of context in post number 9 of this thread. It would have been easy for you to quote exactly what I said but instead you purposefully eliminated part of my post to prove a point that wasn't there. The facts are in the posts.



Quote:
You're right, the stage can't be compared equally between the 1958 Championship game and the 1980 Miracle on Ice. The "big as it could have been" argument is a weak one, as Ive already discussed. Like I stated earlier, the best division III college basketball teams can play a back and forth game with 50 lead changes and 6 overtimes and a heroic last second basket, but they're playing in front of 2,000 people or so, and it would be ludicrous to include them in the discussion of greatest game because it was as "big as it could have been." The simple fact of the matter is the Olympics were the biggest stage, and this was the biggest game of that Olympics, and perhaps in the history of the Olympics. The stage is a factor and there simply is no comparison whatsoever.
We're not talking about division 3 college basketball though this is the fucking NFL. It was played on as big a stage as possible and the argument is not weak whatsoever. Even if it was a division 3 basketball game, if that game was for the championship and played at Madison Square Garden then of course it could be in the discussion. What you're arguing right now is basically that no game outside of the Olympics had a chance in this topic because none could be on an international stage and that is absolutely ludicrous.





Quote:
Ive discussed how viewership is relevant in terms of context to the game overall. Ive discussed how the championship game didn't even sell out, so even the argument of "the best they could" doesn't hold water here, because of those 3,000+ vacant seats at Yankee Stadium. As for attendance, Ive noted how the US/USSR game wasn't topped for over 30 years until USA/Canada in the Gold Medal game in 2010, which was live. Ive already discredited the idea of time slot and discrepencies in viewership. As for the 1958 championship game, the viewership of the Super Bowl in 1980 was only 35.3 million, which is actually down almost 10 million from the 1958 Championship game. So it's safe to say that we can look at time periods with relevance. The 1958 game was obviously more relevant to viewers then the 1980 game, by 10 million viewers. The USA/USSR game was the most relevant game in hockey along with the USA/Finland game(the viewership numbers were virtually the same) for 30 years as they drew the largest numbers until that 2010 game. So we can look at viewership in context of different time frames given those facts, and the viewership for the Miracle on Ice was 7 million stronger then the 1958 Championship game. There's no denying that fact, or that viewership plays a small factor here. And again the advantage goes to the Miracle on Ice.
You can have all the viewership numbers you want. It was a side note in my opening post and you turned it into a deciding factor of best game. News flash, viewership numbers are not all that important in the long run. I'm sorry the 1958 game didn't sell out. It was probably because it was a Sunday afternoon in 1958 and most people had just gotten out of church not long before the game started. You're comparing apples to oranges in terms of time period and sports.



Quote:
I used the most recent example available. In that example, the more attractive prime time game in Green Bay/Atlanta drew less then the less attractive, non-prime time game in Chicago/Seattle. My entire point is that it's impossible for you to validate the idea that a prime time game will automatically attract more viewers. And your Jets/Patriots game is a terrible example because it was played at 4:30 in the afternoon, which is hardly a prime time game. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_time Most of the World Series games are played during the work week, so it would be ludicrous to play the game during the day when most people in its target demographic are working. It's completely different when you're talking about a non-working day in a Sunday, and a simple four hour difference in between game times. The fact of the matter is, in the case of the weekend, especially Sunday, people will find the time to watch what's important to them.
Friday and Saturday nights are the nights where the majority of people go out and they always have smaller numbers because of it so your comparing a Saturday night to Sunday Afternoon game doesn't do much anyways. The Jets/Pats started at 4:30 but it was still a later game and went into prime time. The biggest thing here is that in 1958 the NFL wasn't what it is today. It was not the number one sport in America so yes that 4 hour difference probably did have some viewership differences. Once again, the majority of this rambling from you is irrelevant because what was a side note in my opening post has become a point of emphasis for you.



Quote:
Ive noted that this is a small factor, if you've bothered to read it. 7 million is a large disparity when you compare it across the same nation. You're the one who initially brought up the ide of viewership, and I succinctly and successfully showed how despite the fact that it is a small factor, it's still in favor of the 1980 game. It's not a substantial part of my argument, and Ive never argued it as such.
Yet you continue to beat the argument like a dead horse and spend a good part of your posts talking about it.



Quote:
I said no such thing. I simply noted how the Miracle on Ice team had a succinct game plan that was derived from a style of play that was invented specifically for that game, and then executed by its players. Herb Brooks designed a system specifically aimed at beating the Soviets, so it worked. I can't speak to the game plan of the Giants/Colts game as it's not the game Im arguing but I can argue sloppiness in 3 fumbles and a muffed punt just on one side by the Giants. You use absolutes such as everything and that's hardly what Im saying. There were mistakes made in both games and that certainly goes on the players, in both cases. Im just arguing that the Miracle on Ice was partly the result of a system developed specifically for the game, and the execution of it. Quit jumping to conclusions and get your facts straight son.
My facts are perfectly fine I'm just going by what you're saying. The Colts aerial game plan was also a big factor and one of the first times a passing attack was used as the main part of the offense. Johnny Unitas who had averaged 26.3 pass attempts per game in the regular season threw 40 in the championship game and completed 26 of them. It was a great game plan by Weeb Ewbank and it got the Colts the victory.


Quote:
Again, something we can go back and forth on forever and we simply won't agree. Ill take the US erasing 3 Soviet leads, including one with one second to go in the first period. I'll take the US riding a hot goalie in the second period. Ill take the US tying the game then going ahead in the third with a goal on a great diving play and perfectly executed line change with a perfectly placed screen shot through the five hole. Ill take the US taking the play to the Soviets as much as they defended in the final ten minutes, and Ill take the greatest final minute of drama in the history of any sport in the Miracle on Ice.
Yes we can go back and forth forever. You like a game they may have had drama but nothing overly significant happen in the last 10 minutes and I like one that was a battle with the game being tied at the very end and then won in overtime.



Quote:
This is a common misconception about the USA/USSR game. Most people assume that this was a semi-final game, which is an absolute fallacy. This was a round-robin event until the end, not a tournament, so overall record is what mattered most. The US had a tie entering the game against the undefeated Soviets, so this was an all or nothing game for the United States. Either they won the game, or they didn't medal whatsoever. This was the biggest game of the Olympics against the greatest team in the world, which the United States won, giving them the right of calling themselves the greatest team in the world. The USSR actually won Silver in the games, backing up my claim that their game was the most important. Ill take the most important game in the world over the most important game in a 12 team league, regardless of its impact on football. The Miracle on Ice meant so much more.
I'm well aware it was a round robin tournament but with the way the tournament played out in the end, the US/USSR game basically equaled a semi-final game. The US won the Gold Medal against Finland and that game where they actually won the medal should be seen as greater because it actually got them something no the opportunity to play for something.



Quote:
The link you provided is nothing more then the actual article from the Wikipedia one you posted earlier. Its not new information, its the same information as before, just confirming ESPN as the author, nothing more. And if my source comprised of both Sports Illustrated and ESPN, the same site you used, isn't credible, then neither is yours. Expert opinion is nice and all but it only tells a small part of the story as it's only a few men putting their opinions out there. Like you said, it's a wash and really not relevant here to this argument. I like the facts Ive provided on the 1980 Miracle Game and Ill continue to stand by them. As you said, it's a stalemate in terms of expert opinion, which certainly renders it irrelevant here.
I know the second link I provided was the same just from the actual website, I never said it wasn't. The reason I posted it was because it did come directly from the ESPN SportsCentury website. Yours somehow came from baseball-statistics.com. I just find it hard to believe that ESPN SportsCentury would have the 58 game at number 1 and then when they are in conjunction with SI all of the sudden it goes to number 20. Unless they had idiots on the SI panel that doesn't really seem possible for it to go from 1 to 20.



Quote:
Ill be the first to admit that fan voting is to be taken lightly, but its to be taken nonetheless. In this case, the list was from 2001, but the list still was about the century. I also will acknowledge that the casual fan tends to forget about older games, but it would be silly to suggest that every fan who voted in said poll was a "casual fan." I hold the 1958 championship game in the highest regard out of respect for Johnny Unitas, Frank Gifford, Ewbanks, Lombardi, and Landry, as well as the impact it's had on the game of professional football. I recognize that football was 3rd in the 50's in terms of popularity behind baseball and basketball as well, but when this list was comprised, football was the most popular sport. And yet the fans far and away chose the Miracle on Ice, by over 30%. Even if it's to be taken lightly, its still a factor to consider.
The bold part is what I want to focus on. You seem to be using similar statements like that a lot. You have a lot of things taken "lightly" into your argument but not much you are saying is a huge, definitive factor in what makes the game the greatest.




Quote:
And Ive shown clearly earlier in my post that in my initial argument, I addressed all parts of your argument, taking absolutely nothing out of context. You can continue to distract with this silly argument that I didn't quote you word for word in EVERY post, but it's just distracting from the fact that your facts don't match mine here. The example I gave was a perfect example of how prime time doesn't always pop bigger viewership, and how prime-time is essentially irrelevant to this debate. It's true, Ive shown it, whether you want to recognize it or not.
I'm not going to recognize what isn't there. And you can't sit there and say you took nothing out of context when I have literally showed you did exactly that.





Quote:
Here is where we totally disagree. I believe that coaching in this one game played a tremendous role. With no disrespect to Landry, Ewbank, or Lombardi, Brooks was the better coach for ONE game. He designed a hybrid style of play that meshed the American style of dump and chase with the European style of puck possession, free skating, and superb conditioning. In the week in between the Czech game and the USSR game, he focused on full contact drills with the goal of skating with the opposition and wearing them down. Brooks also masterfully motivated them in this game, as how many games can you recall when the pre-game speech is actually remembered word for word? Can that be said about the 58 Championship game? Brooks expertly played up the underdog aspect while emphasizing the belief in his team.
You can have all the strategies and pre game speeches you want. All great coaches will have great strategies for big games. It all comes down to execution.



Quote:
In the end, it comes down to the execution of the players, but Brooks did everything possible to set them up for success. And they went out there and executed his game plan to perfection. The players ultimately wore the Soviets down with their style of play, executing Brook's game plan to perfection. In this case, coaching was a large part of what made this the greatest game of all time.
And with the great coaches involved in the 58 Championship game you know damn well that they had their players set up for success as well.



Quote:
When it comes down to it, Ive used excellent facts, acknowledged that our opinions are a wash, and have shown how I completely addressed your post succintly and successfully, and your incessant insistance otherwise is nothing more then a distraction from the fact that your facts don't add up to mine. One thing certainly adds up: The facts clearly show that the Miracle on Ice was the greater game then the 1958 NFL championship game.
You have very few hard, relevant facts and it has really hurt your argument. You have focused way too much on things that are close to irrelevant in the debate at hand and I'm not going to lie, because of that I've been dragged into it a little as well trying to respond to them. You seem to be the one providing all of the distractions to the real topic at hand. Nothing you have said indicates to me or anyone that the Miracle on Ice was better then the 58 NFL Championship Game because, well, it isn't.



This isn't irrelevant whatsoever, nor is it sidetracked from the topic at hand, When discussing the notion of greatest game ever played, there are a myriad of factors that must be discussed. Viewership numbers do matter, especially when they're so substantially greater. Ive shown that they're relevantly greater with regards to the Miracle on Ice in regards to the 1958 Championship Game, and substantially greater then the Summit Series. While they're not the entire picture, they do play a role in determining the greatest game, as they're indicative of the stage. My basketball example is the best proof of this. So these facts are entirely relevant in determining the greatest game, and the Miracle on Ice wins in both cases. [/quote]

Viewership numbers play the slightest importance especially when we are only talking about a difference of a few million viewers. Your basketball example was nothing other then taking a complete extreme and trying to apply it to the topic at hand, but it doesn't work that way. You used a division 3 college bball example with 2,000 fans. With my example from earlier I was at least getting at a D1 game with 10,000 fans in the stands (which is around the size of many college bball arenas).

[quote=hatehabsforever;2885645]
Quote:
What determines the greatest game of all time? For one thing, the game must be played at the highest level of the sport in question at the time it was played. It must involve the best of the best, putting it all out there on a grand stage. The Summit Series has this. The top players of the NHL, who happened to be the Canadians, versus the highly skilled and disciplined Soviet Union squad. The MOI did not really have this, as the American team were amateurs, underdogs, overachievers, many of whom became household names, but weren't at the time. The NFL game of '58 featured just two teams in one professional league. Granted they were tremendous and legendary players, but in the end, this does not carry the same scope as the Summit Series.
The Summit Series involved just two teams basically in an exhibition series. Yes it featured numerous HOFers and was highly competitive and was for national pride but It was just 2 teams in what turned to be an 8 game series. The 58 Championship game was the culmination of the NFL season where the two best teams in the league met for the championship.

Quote:
The game has to be of the highest quality and feature drama and intrigue which captives it's audience. All three of the choices here have this and then some, so this point will be hard for any of us to really debate. As a Canadian sports enthusiast, though, the details of the final Summit Series just do it for me far more so than the other choices. A must win game in a hostile environment during the Cold War, in a time period when tensions were highest from a sports perspective as well as political and social parameters, with the winning goal being scored by a journeyman with only 34 seconds remaining, with the weight of a nation your shoulders, it is hard to discount the significance of this.
And here we have more bullshit being brought into the debate. This topic is about the best game ever so let's leave political and social parameters at the door. The game winning goal at the end was nice and the game was competitive but so was the 58 game. The 58 game had a game tying two minute drive at the end of regulation and a tremendous game winning drive in ot. Give me that all day.

Quote:
Ultimately, the greatest game of all time has to be one that still inspires drama, nationalistic pride, and relevance, one that is still viewed as fondly today as it was at the time of the event. Talk to any Canadian today. Talk to them about the Summit Series, about the goal heard around the world, compliments of Paul Henderson, about the Phil Esposito speech, etc., and it still has meaning and relevance to this day. It transcends sports, and always has. I posed the question to my dad yesterday, which do you think was the greatest game ever played. Without hesitation, he said the Summit Series finale featuring Paul Henderson's goal. I feel the exact same way. And now my 11 year old son does too. It was epic. It was magical. It brought a nation together like nothing else could. When I asked my dad about the the '58 NFL game, he said "who? What game? Don't know that one.". Regarding the Miracle on Ice, he was well aware of that one, but of course felt it paled in comparison to the Summit Series.
And if you talk to most American fans and ask them about the Summit Series, I'd say a good 98% would have absolutely no clue what the fuck you were talking about. Of course Canadians won't know about the 58 Championship game, they're Canadian and Football is an American sport. It's going more national now but that does nothing for a game that was played in 1958. This whole argument from you is basically irrelevant.

Quote:
Talk to a casual sporting fan about the 1958 NFL Championship Game, and I guarantee you, most will have no recollection of it. Sure, avid sports fanatics like Big Sexy will appreciate it, but he is the exception to the rule.
Any decent NFL fan will know about the 1958 NFL Championship game and even if they don't who really cares? The game was played in fucking 1958. Up until the documentary that came out about it a couple years ago, the game was basically impossible to watch anywhere and you could only go on hear say. Time period has shit to do with how great the game was.
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Conclusion:

Both Big Sexy and Habs deserve to be recognized for the excellence they have shown in emphasizing the your beliefs regarding the greatest game of all time. Habs has showed the importance of the Summit Series in regards to the Canadiens, likely the greatest moment in their proud hockey history. There's no disputing the fact that hockey today is "Canada's sport", and the Summit Series served as a prime example as to why. Big Sexy was equally impressive in showing the relevance of the 1958 championship game with regards to the game of football, and its impact on the game today. The game featured some of the greatest talent to grace the football field, and three of the greatest coaches of all time. It's highly regarded as the the most important game in the history of American football, and rightfully so.

However, there are a myriad of factors that one must address when truly deciding the greatest game ever played, and respectfully, Ive demonstrated those better then the others. The stage on which the game is played is certainly one of those factors. The Miracle on Ice was held on the largest and grandest stage of them all, the Olympics. With no disrespect towards the Summit Series or the 1958 Championship game, their respective stages simply can't compare to the world stage of the Olympics. While the Summit Series game 8 was played to determine the greater of two nations and the 1958 championship game was played to determine the best of a 12 team league, the Miracle on Ice was fought to determine supremecy over the greatest team in the world. And the USA did just that in defeating the team regarded to be the best in the world at the time, and possibly ever. There simply is no comparison in that regard.

Attendance and viewership figures are a part of the picture that must be examined when looking at the context of the game as well. Ive demonstrated throughout this debate that there is no possible way to account for the 35 million disparity in viewership, which Habs so casually dismisses. Im sorry, but when a hockey game stands tied as the most watched hockey game for 30 years, viewership is entirely relevant. It shows the passion and belief of the entire American fanbase, not just hockey hotbeds. It must be taken into consideration that these figures are in context of a replay, which makes them all the more astounding. The 1958 Championship Game, for all it's importance, couldn't sell out the game. The arena at Lake Placid was filled to capacity to the point that American Olympic figure skater and hero Eric Heiden(by virtue of five gold in five attempts) couldn't even get intothe arena to watch. The arena was filled tio legal capacity with raucous American fans who started the infamous "USA, USA" chant, which is still used until this day. The 52 million people watching at home were a testiment to the passion, belief, and significance of the game to the American people. The game was equally important to the Soviets as well, as they shut down their media operations, refused to report on the story, and the players refused to participate in the customary tradition of the ceremonies regarding their medals. These factors attest to the meaning in context for both sides, which is thoroughly unmatched, and also contributes to making this the greatest game of all time.

As ive mentioned earlier, the underdog status here is also a contributing factor. It's an inate quality in most of us to pull for the underdog, and the United States was certainly that. Combine this with the factor that the US was at odds with the Soviet Union, Iran was holding Americans hostage, and the unemployment rate and poverty rates were at all time highs, so Americans needed something to believe in. The Miracle on Ice hockey team gave them exactly that, and became a rallying figure for the entire nation to get behind in full force, as vieweership and attendance figures show. Comprised of mostly college hockey players, the United States were seemingly at a disadvantage facing the greatest team in the World in the Soviet Union. The Soviets were a polished team who had previously demolished the NHL All-Stars 6-0, and had beaten the Americans 10-3 a week earlier. But backed by their fan base, a phenomenal system created specifically for this game, buoyed by wins earlier over favorites Sweden and Czechoslovokia, and most importantly the support of a nation who believed, the United States stood toe to toe with the Soviets, and bested them. I can't imagine Hollywood writing a better script then this one, and it certainly contributed to the game being the greatest ever played.

Speaking of the game, it was a phenomenally contested matchup. Ive already shown video evidence of the game, and backed it up with facts regarding the game. In underdog fashion once again, the United States rebounded from three deficits, and once they took their only lead, they never surrendered it. They scored a first period goal with one second to play in said period on a remarkable one man effort splitting two defensemen. The game was evenly contested with minimal mistakes, as each team surrendered only two on-ice penalties(both received on bench minor apiece), and surrendered only one power play goal. The United States received tremedous goaltending from Jim Craig, who stopped 36 Soviet shots. I provided video evidence of the magnificence of the game winner, an incredible diving effort by Neil Broten onto the stick of captain Mike Eruzione, executing a perfect line change. He then utilized the Soviet defenseman as a screen, beating the Soviet goalie five-hole. The final ten minutes is stuff of legend, as the US took the play to the Soviets as much as they defended, perfectly utilizing their superior conditioning and executing Herb Brooks hybrid system to perfection. I also provided video evidence of the final minute, which is the most dramatic minute ever played. The US withstood heavy pressure within their own zone, beating Soviets to loose pucks as the seconds ticked down. It was only fitting for Al Michaels to deliver the most famous one-liner in the history of sports in, "Do you believe in Miracles? Yes!". It was fitting that the most iconic phrase in the history of sports was delivered at the end of the greatest game ever played.

I mentioned coaching earlier, and I don't want to understate it. Herb Brooks was a master motivator, mixing the right amount of criticism with the right amount of praise. Brooks also created a system still used until this day in the hybrid style of utilizing American dump and chase hockey combined with European puck possession and free skating. He created this system specifically for this one game, and the Americans used it to perfection both in rebounding from 3 deficits, but also in wearing down the Soviets in the final minutes as they protected their only lead. Coaching is entirely relevant here, and for one game, Brooks was the greatest coach in the world. This factor also contributes to making this the greatest game ever played.

Once again, Ive shown through a myriad of factors as to how the Miracle on Ice was the greatest game ever contested. In regards to the context of which the game was played, none was done so on a bigger stage, had a larger profile, demonstrated more importance to the game, proved more relevant to the nation, or was more important within the context of the sport. It's not even close, and all these factors contribute to this game being the best ever played.

There has never been a game that has impacted one country and its nationalism the way the Miracle on Ice has. It can be argued that this was the greatest upset in sports history,increasing the excitement factor. Ive shown how in retrospect, no one field, arena, stadium, or rink has housed more talent or HOF's then this game did, and it showed in how the game played out. Ive demonstrated how it figures in as the most well played and dramatic game of all time, It remains relevant through today in American and International history, specifically through its accolades, TV and film. It's importance and significance cannot be denied as the greatest of all time. These things attest that on February 22nd, 1980, the United States and the Soviet Union participated in the greatest game ever played, the Miracle on Ice.With regards to the 1958 Chmpionship game and Game 8 of the Summit Series, there can be no debate. The Miracle on Ice was the greatest game ever played.
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Closing

I will now conclude my argument that the 1958 NFL Championship Game ("The Greatest Game Ever Played") was in fact the greatest game ever played.

At the start I used these main arguments to prove it was the greatest game: Stage, teams, the game itself, and the history.

The Stage was the biggest it could have possibly been in that time period. It was the NFL Championship Game being played at Yankee Stadium. It featured the two best teams in the league. The Baltimore Colts who also happened to have the number 1 ranked offense and the New York Giants who happened to have the number 1 ranked defense.

The teams like I said were the two best in the league and they also featured a total of 12 HOF players, 3 HOF coaches, and 2 HOF administrators. The Colts were led by Johnny Unitas and Raymond Berry and the Giants were led by Frank Gifford and Don Maynard.

The game was one of the most highly contested in NFL history. It was back and forth throughout the entire course of the contest. It was the first significant NFL game to ever go into overtime and to this day it is still the only NFL Championship game to ever need an extra session.

The history is nearly unmatched. The NFL is easily the most popular sport in the US right now and you can easily go back and look to this game as the stepping stone and first reason why its popularity started to soar.

My opponents have made some decent arguments but none that prove their game was greater. LSN focused on many irrelevant factors or ones that had very little relevance. When he focused on his main argument he did alright but nothing to prove the Miracle on Ice was a greater game. Habs tended to focus a little too much on national pride and cultural significance. That's all well and good but this isn't a question about significance, it's a question about which game was the greatest and that goes to the 1958 NFL Championship game. I stated the reasons why at the beginning and reinforced them throughout my other posts and debates. It is clear to me and should be clear to all of you that the 1958 NFL Championship game between the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants is indeed, "The Greatest Game Ever Played."
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