Saturday, February 15, 2014

Jingo Unchained
I have always been thankful that I was born in this great nation. Those following me off the plane after returning from some foreign airport have often heard me mumble the little prayer "God bless America" as my foot touched down on the jetway. I am also very proud to be from the city that gave birth to our Independence. The Free Dictionary, a web favorite, defines jingo as "One who vociferously supports one's country". And so it was that starting at 7:30 AM this morning I was glued to the TV set cheering on the USA Hockey Team against the Russians. Sure, I know it is 34 years since I watched as Al Michaels called the game that made us believe in miracles again. And I also recognize that 27 years have passed since President Regan implored Mr. Gorbachev to "tear down this wall". But I am what I am, a child of the cold war. I was told to hide under the desk during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  I fervently followed every development in the race to the moon. I was the last "class" to have to register for the draft lottery in the Vietnam war era. So I hope my neighbors could forgive me when I let out a loud cry of joy when Cam Fowler took a beautiful pass from James van Riemsdyk and slammed it into the net.  But that was nothing compared to the screams of exasperation when Patrick Kane was denied a breakaway goal by the goal tending of Sergei Bobrovsky (lets not even talk about the fact that van Riemsdyk and Bobrovsky are former Flyers). Maybe I overstepped neighborly boundaries with my cheers of USA USA USA after each of those goals. Imagine my screams of "HOLY  S#!T" when a Pavel Datsyuk goal was disallowed due to the net being off its moorings. What an unbelievable game. 2-2 even after sudden death overtime. Fortunately for the neighbors, by the time the shootout was unfolding my voice was about gone. (I hate shootouts.... but I will save that tirade for another blog post) After the bombardment of pucks, the Stars and Stripes were still waving and the Russian bear was defeated. It was not a medal game, and yet there were tears of joy in my eyes. The names were representative of the melting pot that is our nation- Pavelski, Stepan, Stastny, Parise, Pacioretty, Kessler, Orpik. not exactly Signers of the Declaration.  I am 57 years old. My children were not born in 1980. Many of the people I work with only know about the Miracle on Ice from the Disney movie starring Kurt Russell.  They certainly never had to climb under a desk and probably never asked their father if the Russians would really launch their missiles at us. So maybe, just maybe, despite considering myself a citizen of the world, on this day, I can get a pass and  you can forgive the pride that swells up inside me every time the flag is raised at a medal ceremony and definitely every time the USA Hockey team defeats the Russians. Let the chorus ring USA USA USA! and God Bless America.

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