Share This Episode
Our American Stories Lee Habeeb Logo

Ralph Cox: Last Guy Cut from 1980 U.S. Olympic "Miracle" Hockey Team

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
June 2, 2023 3:00 am

Ralph Cox: Last Guy Cut from 1980 U.S. Olympic "Miracle" Hockey Team

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 2257 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.


June 2, 2023 3:00 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Ralph Cox is a former college hockey star who was squeezed out of arguably the greatest moment in sports history. What you might know about Ralph comes from the 2004 Disney movie "Miracle," which is the true story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team that upset the powerful Soviets en route to the gold medal at Lake Placid. Here's Ralph to share the moment that changed his life forever.

Support the show (https://www.ouramericanstories.com/donate)

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

I love mornings, which is a good thing since the Today Show starts early. Those first hours set the tone for the day ahead. We're here to give you the best start. You get the news, learn something new, and even get a little boost. You start the day off with a clean slate and we hope you'll start it with us. We begin our day so you can take on yours because every day meets today.

Watch the Today Show weekday mornings at seven on NBC. I'm Malcolm Gladwell. I live way out in the country. I drive everywhere and you know what scares me? That feeling of finding myself stuck on the side of the road. But now all of us can avoid that pain by getting our vehicle the part it needs before that breakdown oh no moment. With eBay Guaranteed Fit and over 122 million parts and accessories, you can make sure your ride stays running smoothly. For the parts and accessories that fit your vehicle, just look for the green check. Get the right parts, the right fit, and the right prices.

eBay Motors.com. Let's ride. Eligible items only.

Exclusions apply. Want to get away but still listen to your favorite radio stations and podcasts? Then listen up. I Heart Radio is now the onboard music partner on select Southwest flights. That means you can jam out to your favorite local radio station. Even if you're flying coast to coast, check out expertly curated stations that are perfect for kids and adults. Available on most domestic Southwest flights and are perfect for a full nonstop or those pesky minutes between a movie ending and your plane touching down.

So grab your headphones, raise your tray table, and relax with I Heart Radio and Southwest Airlines. This is Lee Habib and this is our American Stories and we tell stories about everything here on this show from the arts sports and from business to history and everything in between, including your stories. We've told the story of both the 1980 US Olympics Miracle on Ice story and the captain of that team's story, Mya Carusione. Here's Greg Hengel with an alternative look at that miraculous tale.

In his book, Win at Losing, how our biggest setbacks can lead to our greatest gains, Sam Wyman explores how failure can often be beneficial. Among the people he profiles is Ralph Cox, a former college hockey star who was squeezed out of arguably the greatest moment in sports history. What you might know about Ralph comes from the 2004 Disney movie Miracle, which is the true story of the 1980 US Olympic hockey team that upset the powerful Soviets in route to the gold medal at Lake Placid.

One of the movies bit characters is a very likable forward with a thick Boston accent. Ralph Cox had shaky hair and a handlebar mustache and in college hockey, he was a prolific goal scorer. The problem is Cox also suffered an ankle injury in the run up to the games and it continued to nag him as the Americans were paring down their roster for Lake Placid. In one of the movie's most emotional scenes, US coach Herb Brooks calls Cox into his office to relay the news that he had to make one more cut and Cox was it. Now here's Ralph Cox picking up the story following the last day of training camp in Minneapolis, Minnesota. People in Minneapolis were going to give us a going away banquet for you know living there.

We all lived in Minneapolis and that's where we trained. I get to the hotel where the banquet hall is and Herb wants to see me and someone says downstairs in a small conference room, a small banquet hall and as I'm walking down the stairs, I'm realizing that this is probably the moment like II knew her even though no one had said it. I really thought I was going to be on the team.

I mean I really thought I would be on the team and go to Lake Placid. I sensed that he was calling me there to tell me otherwise so you know you know I tell you I stayed outside the room for about the doors closed for a good 5 minutes just trying to catch my breath. Get my composure because it was a very emotional moment.

It was very very hard to think about that possibility and so your emotions are running high and I open the door. Finally, I just said to myself, you know have some courage take a breath go in there and and see what's going on and when I walked in Herb was pacing back and forth in the room when he saw me come in. He just looked at me and he welled up which I'd never seen that happen. I mean Herb was a very powerful guy and it took him a few minutes to be able to catch his breath or get his composure and he tried to talk and again he's a little emotional and at that moment for some reason I was extremely calm and in control and I looked at him and I said you know hey it's it's going to be alright and he sort of smiled at me a little bit and he said you know I I've really enjoyed having you on the team. You've been great to have around your enthusiasm your passion for the game. I think you're one of the best goal scorers I've ever seen or coached. He said I think your injury has really slowed you down.

It's only been 5 months. We're going to be playing on a big ice surface and I have to make one of the toughest if not the toughest coefficient decision I've ever had to make Ralph and I'm not going to be able to take you and again he he he he welled up and stood up and walked around the room a little bit and you know he he sat back down again and we we talked a little bit about about the Olympics. I told him it was always a dream that I had to actually go there. I said I really have a. I don't know where this came from, but I said I really have a funny feeling about this team that you're going to have a real shot at a medal and he said and I said I think you can really win the gold medal and he started laughing and he said Geez I'll I'll be happy if we just have a good showing. There's a lot of people are not sure about that and he said it's nice to see you feel like that. You know he said if I can ever do anything for you ever in your career, he said it'd be a pleasure to to be able to do that and what I didn't know at that time and I didn't know for almost 10 years. But it made sense after after the 10 years because it was an article in Sports Illustrated and the the author of the article asked her you know at that moment when the final seconds ticked out and you knew you're going to win the gold medal. What are you thinking about and he said I was thinking about Ralph Cox and I'm reading the article and I'm thinking that's unusual and then I went on to talk about Herb being the last cut in the 1960 Olympics right before the Olympics and just the ironic moment that you know he when he was probably letting me go.

He was thinking of himself. I knew it's hard for him and it was obviously a crushing moment for me as an athlete and I remember when I left there. You know I thought my life was over.

This was going to be it. You know it would never be the same and and and and my life would be very different which it which it has been and it took a few years to sort of adjust who you are in the world because you think you know at that point as an athlete you think yourself as a hockey player. But it it really forced me and helped me think about myself and the world around me in a much I think a much healthier way and in a good way and and I went on I had a great career playing in Europe and you know a lot of good moments in hockey and a lot of good moments working with the Penguins with Herb and people used to tell me don't you hate Herb Brooks not for a second. I enjoyed him as a coach. He was a phenomenal hockey coach you know and I don't think people need me to say that but he was the best bench coach that I think most of us and that team ever had and you know it wasn't easy. I think melding that team together. We're all young and enthusiastic guys and all of us were the captains of our team.

We all had big egos and we all wanted to play and we thought we should be playing all the time killing penalties on the power play and you know the guys from the east really that's true and the guys from the west. They had this culture clash and he had a way of bringing us together and he certainly was as good as coaches I've ever played for. Ralph Cox was the ECAC Player of the Year in 1979 and he played professionally in Europe before joining the Pittsburgh Penguins as a scout winning two Stanley Cups.

He currently has a successful real estate business and still gets together with the players from the 1980 team. And great job on that Greg. The story of Ralph Cox here on Our American Stories. American Stories.com now and go to the donate button and help us keep the great American stories coming.

That's our American Stories.com. Thrills, chills, and laughs are bigger when you save with Undercover Tourist. Enjoy the most fun you'll have all summer and save up to $166 per ticket to Universal Orlando Resort.

Plus save up to $82 per ticket for Walt Disney World. Just visit Undercover Tourist.com. Undercover Tourist.com. A 365-day money-back guarantee is what you get from Undercover Tourist, an authorized seller. Plus book your hotel and rental car at UndercoverTourist.com and save even more.

What are you waiting for? UndercoverTourist.com. Want to get away but still listen to your favorite radio stations and podcasts?

Then listen up. iHeartRadio is now the onboard music partner on select Southwest flights. That means you can jam out to your favorite local radio station, even if you're flying coast to coast. Check out expertly curated stations that are perfect for kids and adults. Available on most domestic Southwest flights and perfect for a full nonstop or those pesky minutes between a movie ending and your plane touching down.

So grab your headphones, raise your tray table and relax with iHeartRadio and Southwest Airlines. With backyard barbecues and summer get-togethers coming in hot, it's the perfect time to upgrade your entertainment setup. Whether it's outdoor movies on the big screen or cheering on your favorite soccer team with friends, you can get a 65-inch Vizio V Series 4K Smart TV for just $398 Walmart. With its big screen, crystal clear picture and built-in apps like iHeartRadio to play all your favorite music, radio, and podcasts, this is the perfect TV for gatherings big or small. Get yours at Walmart today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-02 04:35:34 / 2023-06-02 04:40:22 / 5

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime