It’s not often something comes up on the sports memorabilia market that’s probably really worth its price. Mike Eruzione’s jersey and stick from the 1980 Olympic hockey victory over the Soviet Union might just be one of those things.
The former Team USA captain is selling his jersey, stick, and other Olympic accoutrements (but not his gold medal) through a Texas-based auctioning firm. He says it’s to create a nest-egg for his children and grandchildren, so this doesn’t appear to be a broke-athlete situation.
Not to quibble with Eruzione’s motives, but it sure seems like his goal was to cause utter chaos on the sports memorabilia market. His jersey from the Miracle on Ice is one of the few bits of sporting history that could not possibly lose its value. I say this after a decade in which Lance Armstrong and the top four guys on the single-season home run list all admitted or were caught using PED’s.
Eruzione’s jersey is different. That win by a bunch of American amateurs over a professional USSR team is as big a piece of sports and American history from the 20th century as just about anything you could possibly name. Why? There is literally nothing wrong or flawed in the history of the Miracle on Ice. It happened 33 years ago and there has yet to be a PED scandal (unless you believe the conspiracy theory about the CIA drugging USSR goalie Vladislav Tretiak) or any other kind of controversy that would taint the victory in the minds of Americans.
It would be hilarious if some Russian oligarch bought the jersey – which is expected to fetch upwards of $1 million – just to spite us westerners. Which is obviously the best thing about the Miracle on Ice. Sure, it was cool that some amateurs beat the big, bad Russians. But really, Americans just get to gloat about a symbolic victory over the communist foes whose enmity defined two entire generations for both countries.
So yeah, some American with deep pockets has to throw down for this thing and, like, send it on a world tour or something so we can all re-gloat the victory now that Mike Eruzione’s jersey isn’t hanging in his closet or on his wall or whatever.