The final, uplifting moment they gave us was at the gold-medal ceremony, when Eruzione called his teammates up on the platform with him. After that they marched around the rink as if they owned the place, singing and carrying on. They were definitely not cooling it; they were happy young men. And they did own the place. They owned the whole country for a while. It just made you want to pick up your television set and take it to bed with you. It really made you feel good.
It is over now. Unlike other clubs, Olympic teams self-destruct into 20 different directions and careers afterward—at least in this country. There is never a next year for them. They write their story once. Sportsmen of the Year.