Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hold Your Head Up

I never want to see Ryan Miller this dejected again. My heart can't handle it.To see how much emotion he put into that performance, to see how much he cared about representing his country well - it broke me. He deserved all the happiness and accolades in the world, and I wished that he could have found comfort in at least getting the silver when most people didn't think the U.S. would medal.

But he didn't find comfort in that, and, as Sabres fans, I don't think we expected or wanted him to. Miller is a competitor of the highest degree, and I only wish he could have been rewarded for that with a gold medal. The tears in his too-expressive eyes told us all that this game meant so much to him, and it was so painful to see someone who so deserved to win come out on the losing end, when someone who's already accomplished so much (Sidney Crosby) added another layer to his legend.

Though Crosby's legend continued to grow, I think Miller's did, too. Or maybe his legend just got started. Either way, the whole world knows about our little best-kept secret now, and I couldn't be happier. To see the entire focus of America on the skinny, scruffy goalie that we call ours was truly something special. We got to share him with the rest of the country for a couple of weeks, but now he's ours alone again. I'd like to think we may have picked up a few more supporters along the way, though.

I hope what the rest of the country learned about Ryan Miller is what we in Buffalo have always known - that win or lose, he is a class act. This is the goalie who chose to stay in Buffalo and said that he would give up the money to bring a championship to this city. This is the goalie who helps so many sick children in memory of the cousin he loved so deeply and lost so young. This is the goalie who has captivated the Olympics-watching nation with his calm, kind demeanor and intelligent, focused persona.

Ryan Miller has earned all the happiness he can get out of this Olympic experience, which is why I was so happy to see him at the closing ceremonies:

Photo courtesy of Reuters

To see him smiling and enjoying himself, capturing memories of this amazing experience, made me so happy. He looked proud to be an Olympian, as well he should be. He has made an indelible impression in people's hearts and minds across America, and I hope people know that they weren't just rooting for a great hockey player; they were cheering for a great person as well.

I may have been sad to see silver in Miller's hands today, but I think I'll be okay with it come June, if that silver in his hands is from the Stanley Cup. I know it's a long shot, but if the past two weeks have taught me anything, it's that we should all be believers in "Millercles."


Caroline said...

Ryan is special and we're so lucky to have him as our goalie.

Katie said...

I couldn't agree more, Caroline!

Mackaboo said...

We love you Miller!!

Katie said...

That we do, Mackaboo! haha