Tonawanda News


February 9, 2014

Of Sochi, sport and a momentary miracle


Tonawanda News — I jumped, screamed, high-fived, hugged some strangers and reveled in the feeling that only the greatest moments in Buffalo sports can bring. The chant of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” echoed out into the downtown streets.

The moment crystallized. “I” became “we” and we were pumped!

Too bad the hockey gods didn’t see fit to write the ending that way. ... Canadians rightfully rejoiced and, filtering down the stairs and onto the street we receded back into the individuals we were when we walked into the room. Cell phones popped out, conversations between strangers came to a halt. People went back to their own parked cars, drove them to their own houses and went back to their own lives.

But for a single moment, there wasn’t a person among us sending a text message, checking their Facebook page, listening to an iPod or doing any of the thousand other things that distract us from engaging with the people around us. There was only the sport and its fans, united, strengthening our ever-stretched sense of communal existence.

I was sad we didn’t win a gold medal, but more than that I was proud proud of my countrymen who played hard and proud of my city for caring. 

What a moment! A bittersweet memory but something I’ll remember for a lifetime.

Miller is back on Team USA in Sochi. We’ll see how much he plays, now four years older and likely the backup this time around. But you never know. Great players have a way of finding their way into great moments.

And there will be those moments of incredible success and failure again. Enjoy it. Drink it up. 

Don’t miss an opportunity to do it with the world around you. 

A moment of pure joy — or heartbreak, for that matter — shared with friends, strangers, countrymen famous and not and free from all the filters of modern life. As Al Michaels once asked, “Do you believe in miracles?”


Eric DuVall is the managing editor of the Tonawanda News. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter, @EricRDuVall.

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