Sorry to be the pessimist, but as excited as I am for tomorrow’s gold medal hockey matchup between USA and Canada, I have fully prepared myself for a loss. I’ve sensed this re-match coming ever since last Sunday. Of course I want the Americans to duplicate their success against Canada, and I suppose luck could stay on their side one more time, but I just don’t see it. I don’t have compelling stats or great logic even to back it up, but I do have an unbroken formula for games like this which I will share later.
I realize the Americans have yet to trail for 1 minute of this tournament, but I’ve watched enough sports to know how championship games like this typically play out. It’s the same feeling I have watching UW play UCONN in the NCAA tournament, or the Mariners versus the Yankees in an ALCS, the Seahawks versus the Steelers in the Super Bowl, or on a more personal level, seeing my Bothell Cougars play for a state title. It’s a scene I am all too familiar with. Call it the Seattle sports fan syndrome. Now, you’re probably saying, wait, the Americans DID do it already, and just a week ago at that, so why not again? Yes, they did beat Canada 5-3, but was it for a championship? Nope. This past year I watched my underdog Bothell Cougars beat top ranked Skyline in a fantastic game, but a re-match loomed ahead. The second time around, Skyline was not surprised and they won when it counted most. I see Sunday’s contest following this script.
I know how fickle sports, and particularly hockey, can be. It’s like baseball in a lot of ways, in that on any given night, a goalie (or a pitcher in baseball) can almost single handedly win a game. I suppose Ryan Miller could just stop everything tomorrow, and he is certainly capable. But again, I go back to the pattern that sports has shown me for my 24 years of existence. And for this, I have a formula, which I have yet to see broken: MT+UD+CG=L
my team + underdog + championship game = LOSS
I have countless examples of this formula and it’s accuracy. ’95, ’00-Mariners; ’96-Sonics; ’02-USA hockey; ’05-Seahawks; ’06, ’09-Bothell. Each time my team was an underdog, (although the favored ’01 Mariners and ’07 Bothell teams also lost), each time they were playing for a conference championship or title game, and each time the result was a big L. I have seen some of my teams win conference championships (’96 Sonics, ’05 Seahawks, ’00 Husky football, and ’08 Husky basketball), but in each case my team was favored, so it was somewhat expected.
Canada is playing on home ice, with their confidence restored, a new goalie in net, and everything on the line, including sweet revenge over the Americans. They will win that game. If you disagree, at this point you might be yelling “Dan, what about 1980 at Lake Placid? What about the Mariners in 1995 ALDS? What about George Mason making the Final 4, or the Jets, Giants, or Saints beating all odds to win the Super Bowl?!!!!!” Sports are littered with Cinderella stories, and monumental upsets. I have personally witnessed some, such as Weber State over North Carolina at Key Arena, or more recently UW beating USC last year. But none of these under dogs fit the exact mold of my formula, other than the 1980 USA team, but I wasn’t born yet! So in closing, Go USA!!!!!…but be prepared and happy for a silver medal.