Thursday, February 20, 2014

USA women's hockey "wins" silver medal with disastrous loss

If I'd never happened to turn on my TV this afternoon, I'd be perfectly OK with the fact that the USA women's hockey team got the silver medal, falling to Canada 3-2.  But I did watch the game from the third period on, and now I've got this nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach.  It's funny how sports can work like that.  And if that empty net shot from halfway across the ice slides once inch to the right, the Americans would be wearing gold medals right now.

You're really not supposed to lose a hockey game that you lead 2-0 with three and a half minutes to go; especially when a championship is on the line.  It's eerily similar to the Bruins defeat in the Stanley Cup Final last year (although Boston was up 2-1 with a minute and a half left, and even if they'd held the lead would still have needed to win Game 7); the phrase "choke of epic proportions" comes to mind.

I can't imagine there's anybody on the planet who actually enjoyed watching the US women painfully accept their silver medals.  I wrote about this in the summer of 2012, the Olympics should change the format where you "win" the silver medal with a loss:

"So here's my suggestion: Play the gold medal game, but don't give the loser the silver. Have them play again against the winner of what was previously considered the bronze medal game, for the right to truly "win" the silver. Then have those two losers play another game in order to determine the bronze. That way everybody who gets a medal earns it with a victory and goes out on a high note."

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