As a young teenager growing up, I really didn't understand the significance of the U.S. Olympic men's hockey team's win over the Soviet Union and eventual gold medal in Lake Placid, N.Y. From a sports perspective, I knew the improbability and how big of an upset the win over the Soviets was, but as a 16-year old, I hadn't been paying close attention to the political end of things, let alone a struggling economy.
I just know it was the greatest sports moment in my life and to this day, I still believe that.
I'm in Lake Placid, N.Y. right now, less than a block from the Olympic Center where that U.S. team pulled off the great achievement. I'm with the Badger women's hockey team where I will call on radio, the women's NCAA Frozen Four hockey tournament as long as the Badgers are still alive.
To be honest, it won't outdo the Olympic memory I have from 1980, but it'll be close.
Mark Johnson, who scored two goals in that win over the Soviets in the semi-finals, is the coach of the Badger women's team. He led his team to the NCAA title last season and is trying to make it back to back in this historic venue.
What a thrill. Traveling with the team and riding the bus into Lake Placid, which by the way is in the middle of no-where, is unbelievable. We first passed the ski-jumping venue, followed by the speed skating oval and then the Olympic Center.
I'll see more tomorrow and I can't wait.
The semi-finals are Friday, with the Badgers facing host St. Lawrence University at 4pm central time and Boston College to follow against Minnesota-Duluth. If the Badgers win, I'll have a chance to call the championship game on Sunday at noon.
I was called in to carry out this broadcast because a colleague of mine, Brian Posick is traveling with the men's team to the WCHA Final Five in St. Paul, MN this week.
Thanks to Brian and Tim Scott for trusting that I could do the job and thanks to the Wisconsin staff for welcoming me and lending a big hand right off the bat. I'm looking forward to one of the great thrills of my lifetime.