2014 Sochi Olympics: Here’s Sir David Attenborough Doing Some Alternative Commentary for Curling (Video)
Disgruntled Russian Hockey Fan Suggests Creative Punishment for Russian Hockey Team (Video)
It’s pretty obvious why they Russian hockey team failed so miserably in Sochi, despite having some of the best players in the world on their roster: they don’t play as a team. Hockey isn’t like basketball, where one superstar can single-handedly dictate the course of a game. You need a complete buy-in from every guy on the bench, which means sacrificing yourself for the greater good. And the Russians, despite having superstars like Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Evgeni Malkin, and Pavel Datsyuk, did not have that buy-in. They were not a team.
This wasn’t the case in the Soviet era, of course. Back then the hockey program, like the state, demanded total obedience and instilled machine-like discipline in players. Politically this was terrible, but on the ice it produced fantastic hockey.
So is the current state of affairs a reflection of the political situation in Russia today, or is it just a matter of good players having bad attitudes in the absence of strong leadership? It’s hard to say. One thing I know for sure, though, is that Russians are pissed. You don’t get many chances to win a gold medal on home ice, and they expected their hockey team to put up a good fight…not almost lose to Slovakia and then get man-handled by Finland in the quarterfinals.
For that reason, I suspect a lot of Russians share this man’s sentiments:
Send them to Siberia to mine for gold with their bare hands? Believe me, Mr. Crazy Hat, if Putin thought he could get away with that, he’d do it.
Hat Tip – [Deadspin]