‘Miracle’ team joins Trump at rally
Members of the U.S. Olympic hockey team who performed the “Miracle on Ice” at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, along with Coach Herb Brooks’ daughter, joined President Donald Trump on stage at a campaign rally in Las Vegas on Friday to thunderous applause and shouts of “USA! USA! USA!”
The team was flown out by the Vegas Golden Knights hockey team to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the legendary win against the seemingly unstoppable Soviet Union team.
With the team onstage, Trump led the crowd in loud boos at the “fake news,” moaned about a foreign language film winning Best Picture at the Oscars and shouted, “12 more years!” for his presidency.
Onstage, wearing “Keep America Great” hats and shaking hands with Trump, team members were doused in patriotic love from the crowd and ribbing from the president.
At first, Mike Eruzione was called on stage by himself, as he has golfed with the president before.
“A friend of mine and a very good golfer, by the way, Captain Mike Eru…” Trump said, giving up on pronouncing Eruzione’s last name.
“Do you know who he is?” Trump asked the crowd. “He’s a fake handicap is what he is.”
Eruzione said it was a great honor to be invited.
“Just tell them, am I a good athlete, and am I a good golfer?” Trump said.
After a pause, Eruzione said, “You are, yes sir,” then adding, “whatever you say.”
As he left the stage Trump exclaimed, “That was some goal-tending; How many did you rebuff?”
Eruzione played as a winger and did not tend goal.
“That’s Jim Craig; that’s the next guy,” Eruzione said.
“He was like a pinata,” Trump said.
Craig got up next and said he rebuffed 37 goals in the “Miracle on Ice” game. Trump asked it that was the greatest game he ever played.
“It was an important game,” Craig said.
The two countries were tense rivals, politically, and the Soviet team was playing for its fifth gold medal win in a row. The American team, despite being massive underdogs, pulled through to win 4-3.
“Slightly important,” Trump said, laughing.
Some members from the rest of the team — Bill Baker, Dave Christian, Ken Morrow, Jack O’Callahan, Mike Ramsey, Mark Wells, Neal Broten, John Harrington, Rob McClanahan, Buzz Schneider, Dave Silk, Phil Verchota and assistant coach Craig Patrick — joined them on stage.
“USA! USA! USA!” the crowd shouted.
Most players didn’t address the crowd, with around a dozen of them on stage. One player said “four more years.”
“Twelve more years!” Trump yelled. “Hey Mike, look at the fake news back there. It’s a lot.”
The crowd booed.
“I always say, that’s like the Academy Awards used to be. This year we had a movie, they said ‘best movie,'” Trump said referencing the Korean-language movie “Parasite” by South Korean director Bong Joon Ho. “Then they announce a movie from South Korea, I said, ‘What’s that all about?'”
Trump said the movie should have won “Best Foreign Language Film.” It won that award, too.
Trump said America is the greatest country in the world but it doesn’t get recognized.
Eruzione pointed out Kelly Brooks, Coach Herb Brooks’ daughter. She got on stage to more applause, wiping away tears.
“Her dad was an amazing coach. He was a great teacher. He was a great motivator,” Eruzione said. “At times, maybe too much of a motivator. He was very demanding. He was very difficult to play for, but trust me on one thing: There never once was a day that we didn’t respect the man and never once was a day that we didn’t trust him and what he was trying to do. He orchestrated the greatest sports moment of the 20th century.”
“I’m honored that his legacy is still alive today,” Kelly said.
She said she thinks Herb would’ve been a Trump fan.
“So tell me one thing,” Trump said. “I see those tears. That means you think you miss him and you love him, right? Was he actually a nice guy, because he looked tough.”
“He was a great guy,” Kelly said.
The team walked away, again, to the sound of a stadium chanting, “USA! USA! USA!”
(Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said the team members wore “Make America Great Again” hats. The hats said “Keep America Great,” Trump’s current campaign slogan. The Enterprise regrets the error.)