--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.