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VIEWPOINT/ LETTERS

A Proper Salute to a Hockey Great

August 16, 2003

Seldom have I read an article in the newspaper that I want to cut out and keep. Helene Elliott's article on Herb Brooks was such an article.

I gathered Monday afternoon with several associates, all from hockey towns: Detroit, St. Louis and Minneapolis. We discussed where we were when the U.S. team beat the Soviets.

It is a moment in time I will never forget. I was in my living room in Minneapolis, listening to the game on the radio, broadcast live in Minnesota because of the "Minnesota connection" (coach and players). We ran out into the street banging pots and pans to celebrate the moment and then gathered to watch the tape delay of the game on TV. At the end, there was not a dry eye in the place.

Helene has incredible hockey knowledge and was correct in her analysis that Herb Brooks prepared the players for that moment.

In fact, as the game ended, he left the bench and retired to the locker room, so the players would have the spotlight.

Monday was not a great day for hockey. Tuesday was slightly better, thanks to Helene.

Stephen Peterson

Huntington Beach

*

The loss of Herb Brooks this week hits us all, not only as sports fans but also as Americans. For those of you who don't remember or weren't paying attention, Herb Brooks is best known for leading the "Miracle on Ice" in Lake Placid. The victory in the 1980 Olympic Games was, arguably, one of the top five moments in the history of sport.

To put it in today's terms, Herb took a team of student-athletes and prepared them so they could beat the best in the world.

It's like USC's college football team beating the Super Bowl champions.

It's like a high school basketball team beating the NBA champions.

It was that big.

Brooks inspired a nation and a team and he reinvigorated the greatest sport on earth.

He will be missed by all who love sport and appreciate history.

Stephen Jarvis

Redondo Beach

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