The men’s soccer team representing Iceland in the World Cup has made national headlines. They have played their role of David to the rest of the soccer elite’s Goliath to perfection and have gone from that country that is a little dot next to Greenland to a full blown feel-good story for the soccer ages. I thought it would be cool to examine the term “Ice” throughout recent history..sports and otherwise.
First, the Ice chronicles would have to start with my all-time favorite basketball player, George “Iceman” Gervin. He was years ahead of his time as a scorer, an offensive innovator and a true sports personality. Staying with basketball, any self-deprecating Milwaukee Bucks fan remembers total wash-out Jerry “Ice” Reynolds who over-promised and under-delivered on just about everything he did coming out of LSU. In the world of entertainment there is Ice Cube and Ice-T..and of course let us not forget the beverage Iced Tea as well.
Continuing on the beverage front, there is that dubiously popular beer that my father insisted that he personally took from a cheap beer to a higher dollar beer simply by his increase in personal consumption alone…the heavy hitting Milwaukee’s Best Ice. Of course there is the popular chick drink Smirnov Ice, available in about 75 different flavors. And no list is complete without the complete sugar blast/brain freeze that can only be delivered by a convenience store Icee.
No “Ice” list can exist without paying homage to the great Rob Van Winkle. He is the artist formerly known as Vanilla Ice and author of that timeless classic Ice, Ice Baby. And believe it or not, this past February, Vanilla Ice actually did play in Iceland!! Man, why wasn’t I at that show?
There is Icelandic Cod, bagged ice, crushed ice, automatic ice makers, criminals put away on ice, ice water running through someone’s veins and the rock-n-roll classic Cold As Ice. And it is all in celebration of 23 guys from Iceland, representing their country and simply doing the undoable. This is Iceland’s time regardless of the results of the rest of the World Cup. They are on the national radar for the first time since the Regan/Gorbachev summit in 1986. That is 30 plus years of relative anonymity undone simply by a team’s belief in doing the impossible.
So here is to “ice”, here is to Iceland and here is to everyone that has ever flown for far too long below the radar…your time to shine is always just a miracle away. The US celebrates The Miracle on Ice Olympic hockey gold medal from 1980, it is not hard to imagine that folks in Reykjavik celebrating The Miracle from Iceland 38 years after its occurrence. Njota!! (Enjoy!!)