Words fail our desire to pay an appropriate tribute to Herb Brooks on the occasion of his shocking, unacceptable death: “Herb Brooks killed in car crash.” A champ at every stage of his career, he made an incomparable contribution to the public life of the state of Minnesota and unforgettably picked up our whole country at a particularly low point in 1980: “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”
Our hearts are with his family and former players. RIP.
HINDROCKET adds: The news of Brooks’s death is shocking indeed. I was at the 1980 Winter Olympics (very briefly) and kept telling people there that our hockey team had a shot. It’s hard for people who weren’t around then to realize what an astonishing triumph that gold medal was. One of my favorite Brooks moments was after the Olympics, when a reporter said, “This must be the most exciting moment of your life, right?” And Brooks answered, “No, it’s second. The most exciting moment was when my St. Paul Johnson team won the Minnesota High School Hockey Tournament.” He wasn’t kidding, either, which tells you what a great event the Minnesota high school tournament is. It’s gone downhill some since they divided the high schools into classes and now hold two tournaments. I’ll never forget the time the Roseau Rams played Edina for the championship. Roseau had something like 100 boys in the entire high school, and 20 of them were on the team. They were no fluke, of course; two players on their top line wound up in the NHL. Anyway, Brooks was an absolutely unique individual and will be greatly missed.
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