•Let's be idealistic, but let's also be practical.
•You can't be common because the common man goes nowhere. You have to be uncommon.
The U.S. hockey team was anything but common. Before the previous week's upset win over Czechoslovakia, Christian sat in the locker room and secretly fashioned something out of a cardboard Budweiser packet. When he put on his helmet, there were a set of wings and a tail sticking out of the airholes. "Boy, am I going to be flying tonight," Christian announced.
In the next game, against Norway, the U.S. fell behind 1-0 after the opening period and appeared frustrated. In the locker room between the first and second periods, Silk said something impassioned about how everyone had to support everyone else and suggested that they all tell each other nothing but nice things. There was a brief silence. Then:
"Eric, your hair looks marvelous."
"Phil, that's a wonderful job of taping your shin pads."
"Jimmy, your eyes are a lovely shade of blue."
As Eruzione noted later, "We may be young, but we're immature."
The U.S. players performed fearlessly, and the public ate it up. Even before the Americans beat the Soviets, Lake Placid restaurant managers sent over complimentary bottles of wine, and New York State Troopers asked for autographs. At one point. Silk's mother, Abigail, who was housed with 40 other hockey parents and relatives in an abode they called the Hostage House, was riding a bus when she heard a young man tell the girl he was embracing that he was on the hockey team.
"Really? And who are you?" Mrs. Silk asked, cruelly.