Industry Believes in Miracles
For a Day
Even though he is know as a hockey player, Mike Eruzione hit one
out of the park with the crowds at the Glass Association of North
America's Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference here in
Las Vegas today. Eruzione, who was the team captain of the 1980
Olympic Gold Medal hockey team, provided attendees, rapt with attention,
with stories of his unforgettable hockey team and their victory,
along with some analogies to business.
He was a hit with the crowd. Unlike other sports heroes on the
speaking circuit, Eruzione did not dwell on his own accomplishments
(like making the winning goal in the U.S. vs. Russia game) but rather
talked of team efforts and advancements.
He explained how coach Herb Brooks had analyzed the Russian and
European styles of play and decided that his team would practice
together for six months before the Olympics, and would practice
in Europe at skating rinks the same size as the Olympic ones. "There's
only one rink of such size in the United States," he said.
The team then began an exhibition series that culminated with a
7-3 loss to the Russians at Madison Square Garden right before the
"Herb had a real knack for knowing exactly what to say,"
Eruzione said. "After that game all he said was 'play like
you played the second two periods, not the first.' That made us
feel ready. We had been down 4-0 after the first period, and ended
up losing 7-3, after that, so we knew we had a shot."
He spoke affectionately of his teammates and said they had only
been together twice since the Olympics-for the Salt Lake City Olympics
and for the funeral of Coach Herb Brooks.
When asked his most proudest achievements he named two: when the
movie "Miracle" premiered and getting to light the torch
at the Salt Lake City games. "I was proud of the movie, because
it means that people who were there can relive it and people who
weren't alive, or who aren't yet alive will get to see it. It was
very exciting for me."
"The only thing that tops it is lighting the torch to open
the Olympics," he said. "They didn't tell us until very
late the night before that we were going to do it. It was a very
big secret. We had to rehearse at midnight to keep it a secret.
I came back to the condo I was staying in at 3 a.m. and told my
wife, to which she replied 'Yeah, right, what bar were you guys
It was just that kind of humor and self-deprecation that endeared
the star, who never played professional hockey, to the crowd.
"I liked him because he was a regular guy," said one
attendee, "you could really relate to him."
Eruzione still lives in the same Boston neighborhood he grew up
in, next to his Dad, surrounded by siblings, cousins, kids and nieces
and nephews. He remains close to his father, and has taken the lessons
he taught him into adult life.
"We were cut off from TV and the media during the Olympics,
so we had no idea how big this thing had gotten. As soon as the
game was over and we had won, everything changed. There was pandemonium,
bedlam," he said.
"We got back to the locker room. Remember security is very,
very tight at the Olympics and, still to this day, I don't know
how he did it, but there was my Dad in the locker room with a six-pack
of beer, raising a bottle to me," he said.
Eruzione's speech was co-sponsored by Guardian Industries and Tubelite
Inc. It was followed by three additional seminars at the BEC ended
Watch USGNN.com tomorrow for more details about those and other
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