In his latest bout of Penguin love (hmm, I suppose that phrase could generate some non-traditional search hits), ESPN columnist and host John Buccigross drew some questionable comparisons, including the “almost joyless” Detroit Red Wings’ resemblence to the 1980 Soviet Red Army team, and the Pittsburgh Penguins’ potentially miraculous victory potential. Here’s the excerpt that boiled my blood:
If the Penguins are somehow able to win these finals, dubbing it “Miracle on Ice 2” would not be hyperbole.
What a ridiculous statement. 1980’s Team USA were huge underdogs — a team filled with college kids rather than first-round NHL talent. Practically no one picked them to medal, let alone win the Gold, and certainly nobody other than Coach Brooks and his team thought they could beat the Soviets.
In 2008, many people picked the Penguins to win the Stanley Cup, including Buccigross. Perhaps the Pens were slight underdogs to the Wings; it’s also true that a Cup-clinching comeback from their 0-2 start would be impressive indeed.
But even if the Penguins manage to win the Cup this year, calling it “Miracle on Ice 2” would be more than just hyperbole; it would be a joke, a travesty, something blurted by a die-hard homer rather than someone who actually follows and respects the sport. Buccigross, one would think, should know better.