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Video- Where Were You 40 Years Ago Today?

from Joe Lapointe at Deadline Detroit,

One of the few places in Metro Detroit where you could see a live telecast of the 4-3 U.S. victory over the Soviet Union that Friday was the Blue Goose, along with homes in the East Side suburbs along the international border.

That was important because the ABC television network covered the game only on videotape and showed it, on a delayed basis, during prime time in the U.S....

If you wanted to see USA vs. USSR when it actually took place, you had to drive to Lake Placid and buy a ticket or find a TV near the Canadian border, preferably with a UHF antenna.

And that was exactly what they had at the Blue Goose. It could pick up Channel 42, on the CTV network, from Sarnia. That was 60 miles away as the Canada goose flies from St. Clair Shores, with no buildings in the lake to block the signal....

ABC Sports – then the powerhouse in American TV sports – owned rights to the Olympics in the U.S. and manipulated its “same-day, tape-delay” coverage so that major events that took place before 8 p.m. were held back for prime-time presentation when the audience and sponsorship revenues were largest....

But in some cities – including Detroit – local stations accidentally ruined the ersatz suspense during station breaks by offering “teases” with announcers saying something like “USA beats Russia in hockey! Miracle on Ice! Film at 11!” In Detroit, it happened on Channel 7 (WXYZ-TV) and the guilty news anchor was Bill Bonds.


Below, watch a 12 minute highlight package of the game.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+usa


Paul's avatar

from Risto Pakarinen,

Team USA’s win over the Soviets at the 1980 Winter Olympics hockey tournament in Lake Placid was quickly dubbed “Miracle on Ice”. A group of college kids beating the Red Machine? Unheard of.

But one man’s miracle is another man’s nightmare. For Valeri Kharlamov, Lake Placid was supposed to be the scene of his triumphant return to the limelight. Instead, he was on the losing side of the most famous hockey game of our time.

This is a story based on true events.


Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/22/20 at 08:24 AM ET


I was a young teenager living in Oakpark, turned on the TV to watch some Olympics.  Wow! What an unexpected treat.

Posted by Ventr on 02/22/20 at 12:09 PM ET

calquake's avatar

I had to work the day of the game so I avoided TV and radio afterwards knowing it would be broadcast on ABC later. I had become a fan of the Wings and hockey in general because of my father’s love for the sport. We’d watch Hockey Night In Canada whenever possible. I was 19 at the time and had moved out on my own. My dad wasn’t too thrilled with my decision. He rarely called me about anything but as I picked up the phone I heard, “We beat the Russkies” I was mildly upset but would come to understand later in life what it meant to my father as a hockey fan and as an American. It has become one of my fondest memories of my late father.

Posted by calquake from Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst on 02/22/20 at 12:17 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Correction: I was 29 at the time, not 19.

Posted by calquake from Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst on 02/22/20 at 12:38 PM ET


Little kid in Warren, obvious to things like tape delays,
and mercifully able to avoid spoilers. It was all live happening a couple of
states away as far as I knew when we tuned in that evening.

I’ll put it up there with getting to see the original Star Wars movie in the theater a couple of years earlier.

Posted by lefty.30 on 02/22/20 at 12:42 PM ET



Posted by lefty.30 on 02/22/20 at 12:42 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

We were driving around when the game was happening and it was on the radio. I think about the end of the 2nd, my dad turned it off and said we should wait to watch the game on TV. We were pissed at the time, bkz it was (obvs) an incredibly exciting game. Turned out that was the right call, tho.

Posted by Steeb on 02/22/20 at 12:57 PM ET

Paul's avatar

My buddy and I avoided any media that day, turned it on a minute before and there is Bill Bonds telling us USA won.

We thought maybe Billy had too many pops but it was in the back of our mind the whole game.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/22/20 at 01:01 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/22/20 at 12:01 PM ET

I don’t remember that happening, but I do remember Jim McKay introducing the start of the tape delay replay (WHY!?!?!?!) and barely holding it together, and my mom said “I bet we won!”. So we didn’t *know* but we had a good feeling about how it turned out.

Posted by Steeb on 02/22/20 at 01:45 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I can give you the address of the home where I watched Team USA beat the Soviets with the family and that began the forty year love affair with hockey and the Detroit Red Wings.

I was twelve years old and mesmerized by this dazzling game on this little Panasonic 17-inch color TV.  The signal was sketchy but once we adjusted the rabbit ears properly, the picture was as clear as it was for 1980s technology.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 02/23/20 at 01:37 AM ET


Didn’t realize I was such a youth around here.  My one-year-old self was completely unaware of the game.

Posted by EthrDemon on 02/24/20 at 02:15 PM ET

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