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Q&A: Catching Up With 1980 Olympians

Miracle on Ice team members share thoughts on Herbie's on the Park, World Juniors and more

by Katlyn Gambill / caught up Wednesday with three members of the 1980 United States Olympics Miracle on Ice team, who were at Herbie's on the Park for the unveiling of the new 11-foot tall statue of legendary coach Herb Brooks.

What do you think of Herbie's on the Park and the new statue of Herb Brooks outside? 

John Harrington: It's the first time I've been here, so I haven't really seen too much of it yet. ... It's going to be a lot of fun. It's really special to be here; certainly a re-recognition to have a new statue of Herb out there, so I'm excited about that, and to get a chance to see all our teammates from the 1980 team is always fun. 

Rob McClanahan: I think it's fantastic. Obviously, it's a great tribute for a guy who I consider a great coach. I saw them replacing [the statue] and I think it's a much better version. 

Mike Ramsey: Well, I think it's pretty cool. This is my first time since they've had this here, and I saw the statue going up as we were coming in, it was still hanging from the ropes and they were putting it on. But obviously pretty special and neat to be here for it. 

What's it like to reunite as teammates again, and how often do you get the chance to catch up as a group? 

JH: We do a number of things together. We do some autograph shows, and we have our fantasy camp in Lake Placid in late March, which we get almost everybody to come for that. Over the years, we've had our "golf till you drop" weekends somewhere in the United States where we all meet up, and it's always great to see everybody. There's about two or three questions about how you're doing, and how your family's doing then everything kind of reverts back to 1980 and everyone is getting teased or getting razzed for the same thing they got razzed about in 1980, so it's a fun group and a close group, and it's always fun to see them. 

RM: We always enjoy getting together. It's fun to have our spouses and oftentimes we'll bring our kids. They get to share in things like this. So we really enjoy getting together. 

MR: The last time we all got together was probably our fantasy camp last year, and this is pretty much the same crew that's at that anyway. You know what? You can throw the group together and it's like old hat again. Things don't change. It's always good to see all the guys. Obviously, we're getting old and losing our hair and getting grey. It's always good to see the guys, things don't change when we get togehter. 

Switching gears to hockey, what was it like for you to see Team USA win gold at the World Junior Championship a few weeks ago? Did that bring up any memories of 1980? 

JH: To see someone jell like that and play for each other and play so hard for each other -- I think the U.S., the great thing about them is how hard everybody works, but they work as a team and you can accomplish great things when you work as a team. I think to watch and see USA jerseys, to hear the national anthem after wins and to see the excitement they have of winning a world championship, it always makes me think about my time and how lucky I was and how fortunate I was to be a part of that team. 

RM: The older I get, the better I was when I played back then. But the hockey that these kids are playing today is really something. They're fast, they're big and it makes America proud. 

MR: It was fantastic. That was the only game I watched and it was exciting. Overtime was exciting. I'm not a fan of the shootout for a gold medal in something like that, but the US won so I'm a fan today. It was great hockey and it was exciting to watch. It's great for USA Hockey. It's fun seeing the kids; obviously it was in Canada so it was a road game for the U.S. team, but just seeing the excitement and the joy, that brought back memories. I always say everybody should get to feel something like that once. It's very special. 

What have you thought of the Wild's play and season so far? 

JH: It's really exciting. How well they've been playing consistently has really been remarkable. It's tough every night in that league to perform at the top of your game all the time. I think they're doing a great job, and I'm excited here for the second part of the season and the playoffs.

RM: I watch the Wild and I watch the Rangers because I played for the Rangers. It's great to see them perform. It was tough last night to see them lose like that. I enjoy the Wild. You need to see a competitive product, and it's fun to see these guys be successful. 

MR: It's been a great season for them so far. Obviously, they've got a long ways to go, but so far so good. I like as a fan now, I like the way they play. They're fun to watch, they do a lot of good things. They're much tougher, and I think the fans like that. I like that. Great goaltending. They're doing a lot of things right and they're fun to watch. It's a good time to be a Wild fan.

What are you up to now? 

JH: I got back into coaching. I scouted professionally for a while. I coached college for a long time at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota, went to Europe a little bit, but came back and just in my second year now as the head women's coach at Minnesota State University, so I've really enjoyed it. It's a new experience coaching women, but exciting. I missed being on the ice. I missed coaching every day and trying to teach players to be better and to have that interaction with them. We're building our program down there and I'm excited about what the future holds for Minnesota State. 

RM: I play a little golf. I ski a little bit in the wintertime. I'm in the investment business. I've been doing this for 30 years and keep grinding away. 

MR: I watch my son play every weekend with the [University of Minnesota] Gophers, chasing my other two daughters around, hunting, fishing, deer season ended January 8 so now more deer hunting, but now I'm ice fishing. I'm staying busy. 

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