The episodes in life that last so many years in memory are often measured in fleeting minutes as they happen.
I take a break from blogging about running to write something sport-related that I heard at the end of the USA-Canada gold medal hockey game on Sunday. I am drawn to watching games like this because I like to watch the teams at the end – it’s the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat thing. The whole thrill of competition, with an unknown outcome that might be thrilling or might be agonizing, is what got me into coaching. I couldn’t bear the thought of not being in that kind of environment when my high school running career ended, and thus I went into coaching.
Because we don’t have cable, I was actually listening to the hockey game on the radio while following a live blog from the USA Indoor Championships (OK, this entry will not be completely void of running). Later in the evening I watched the highlights on nbcolympics.com. I especially enjoyed watching the medal ceremony. I could feel the excitement and joy from the Canadians and the pain and disappointment from the Americans. At the tail end of the video as the camera panned from the Canadians taking a team photo on the ice and the Americans looking dejected on the sidelines, I caught a quote from the announcer that I liked: “The episodes in life that last so many years in memory are often measured in fleeting minutes as they happen.”
I figured I had a nice quote to use with the SHC team at some time in the future. I decided to research the quote on the internet. It turns out that there is a story behind the quote. The quote comes from Steve Summers in 1988. Summers, an award-winning writer for the Patriot-News, first wrote phrase in a story about the 1988 Hershey Bear’s Calder Cup championship. It has now become the championship game signature of announcer Mike “Doc” Emrick. Emrick is widely regarded as the best hockey play-by-play announcer in the business and has won numerous awards for his broadcasting. It is no wonder that NBC had him calling the 2010 Olympic gold medal game.
So why do I like this quote so much? It really speaks to me and my love for coaching. Hundreds of coaching episodes are embedded in my memory. I can recall many of them in great detail like they happened yesterday and they still evoke the same sentimental emotions in my heart. And yet, when the actual events happened, they took place in a matter of minutes. Perhaps it is a quote that is attributed to “Doc” Emrick himself that sums it up best, “In minutes, this won’t last very long, but the memories sure will.”
Congratulations to Canada. Good job to the USA. Thank you to all the runners and athletes who have contributed to so many of my great memories.