The Boys of Winter: The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team
The Story of the Greatest Sports Moment of the Twentieth Century
Once upon a time, they taught us to believe. They were the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, a blue-collar bunch led by an unconventional coach, and they engineered what Sports Illustrated called the greatest sports moment of the twentieth century. Their “Miracle on Ice” has become a national fairy tale, but the real Cinderella story is even more remarkable.
Wayne Coffey casts a fresh eye on this seminal sports event, giving readers an ice-level view of the amateurs who took on a Russian hockey juggernaut at the height of the Cold War. He details the unusual chemistry of the Americans—formulated by their fiercely determined coach, Herb Brooks—and seamlessly weaves portraits of the boys with the fluid action of the game itself. Coffey also traces the paths of the players and coaches since their stunning victory, examining how the Olympic events affected their lives.
Told with warmth and an uncanny eye for detail, The Boys of Winter is an intimate, perceptive portrayal of one Friday night in Lake Placid and the enduring power of the extraordinary.
Also available as an eBook
For fans and non-fans alike
By Craig - January 18, 2005
More than just an underdog-achieves-greatness story, this book is a revealing look at the elements that went into that incredible victory in Lake Placid. Little is glossed over, and both Herb Brooks and several players are examined in detail. Brooks is not portrayed as a saint, but his genius in creating a team and a system to win gold shines through.
The Russians are not treated as a bunch of villains, but instead are shown to be just as human as the American boys. The political climate of the time obviously made the victory that much sweeter, and Coffey does an excellent job of setting the victory against that backdrop.
As a hockey fan, it's difficult to think of a greater moment than watching the players and crowd go crazy as those final seconds ticked away - for many of us, it still gives us chills 25 years later. This book does a wonderful job of honoring one of the great moments in American sports history.
A flood of happy memories and a great book
By Eric J. Wittenberg "Civil War Book Maven" - March 11, 2005
I was 18, almost 19, years old that night in February 1980. I was a freshman in college, only a handful of years younger than the talented young men who donned the sweaters of the USA to play in the Lake Placid Olympics. It would be hard to imagine a time when morale was lower, and people felt more negatively about being an American--it was the Carter administration, interest rates were 21%, the Iranian hostage crisis was in full disaster mode, and the Soviets had just invaded Afghanistan. I grew up 65 miles from Three Mile Island, and the accident there had occurred two days after my 18th birthday in March 1979, and nobody knew whether the accident there would have long-term negative effects. Relations with the Soviets were at their nadir, the Cold War was at its height, and I remembered that things in this country were at about their lowest point possible.
And then a miracle occurred.
Herb Brooks and his team of unknown college kids beat the greatest hockey... read more
Now I believe in Miracles
By Matt Papuchis - January 30, 2005
Given that I was born in June of 1980 - some 4 months after the greatest sports moment of the last 25 years - I have had to rely 100 percent on documentaries, articles and movies to truly understand how important this event really was. My father, who has everything from DVDs to framed artwork commemorating the game, still talks about the event today as if it just happened.
But, even the movie Miracle, which came out last year and is No. 1 on my all-time sports movie list, didn't do for me what this book does.
What history has told us again and again over the last 25 years is how special this victory was because of the fact that it was a bunch of college players who were virtually unheard of taking down a Soviet powerhouse made up of solid veterans. However, what nobody has attempted to do was tell us the story of who these 20 young men really were. Until now.
Wayne Coffey takes us through - not only the game minute-by-minute, period-by-period, but also... read more
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