Today is the thirty-seventh anniversary of one of the greatest sports stories of the 20th century. On this date in 1980, in the small town of Lake Placid, NY, the 1980 US Hockey team won the gold medal. Here are a few things I'll bet you didn't know about the historical run.
Contrary to popular belief they did not beat the Soviet Union for the gold. Two days earlier, the United States upset the Soviet Union 4-3 in a medal round game.
In 1980, the medal round wasn't a single elimination format. It was a round-robin format and in fact, the group game with Sweden (because they were in the top-four after group game play) was counted along with the medal round games against the Soviet Union and Finland.
Even though the US beat the Soviet Union two days earlier, it was still mathematically possible for the US to be knocked off the podium all together with a loss to Finland.
The US was down 2-1 to Finland after two periods. As the team was getting ready for the 3rd period, head coach Herb Brooks told his players that if the US lost this game, "you'll take it to your f***ing graves."
The US scored three unanswered goals in the 3rd period to defeat Finland 4-2, clinching the gold medal.