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.. e the exhibition and MLB games. In the second game of the MLB season, Hideki Matsui hit a home run against the Devil Rays, causing the Tokyo Dome to erupt in standing ovation, a rarity in Japan. The opening of the season in Japan was significant because the Japanese fans got to see their hometown hero contributing to the success of the Yankees, inspiring a strong sense of pride. While many Japanese players are flourishing right now in America, manager Bobby Valentine is doing the opposite right now and is managing the Chibe Lotte Marines. Valentine, who managed the New York Mets to the 2000 World Series is now in his second cycle of managing the Marines.
When asked why he is making a second cycle in Japan, Valentine replied, "I don't know if it is Japanese baseball so much as this team. It is an association that was established in 1995 that never went away, with both the owner and many of the people in the organization. I think they deserve more than what they have gotten over the last 20 years or so, and hopefully, I will be able to deliver that." Valentine is a mega-celebrity in Chibe Lotte, and will become a national hero if he restores the team to legitimacy in the Japanese baseball league. The significance of his returning to Japan after leading an American team to the World Series is that it shows that Japanese Baseball is gaining respect and notoriety in America and all over the world; one of the reasons that Japan became so militaristic prior to World War II was because of the lack of respect shown to them as a nation. It is important for there to be positive nationalism in Japan just as there has to be in Iran and it is nice to see positive sentiment towards Americans in foreign countries.
The most recent example of international sporting competition that held extreme significance to America was the 1980 "Miracle on Ice."The U.S. Olympic hockey team, who had lost poorly to the Russians 10-3 in an exhibition game just days before the 1980 Olympic tournament had begun, somehow found a way to defeat Russia when the gold was on the line. U.S. coach Herb Brooks said it best before the game in a pep talk to his team: "You were born to be hockey players. You were meant to be here. This moment is yours." Mike Eruzione scored a goal with 10 minutes left in regulation to break a 3-3 tie, and the United States held on for a 4-3 victory on Feb.
22, 1980. The Soviet Union, prior to 1980, had won eight of the previous nine Olympic golds. The reason that the "Miracle on Ice" was so significant was because after World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union emerged as superpowers. Throughout the next half a century, the two nations were involved in the Cold War, during which the two nations were involved in an intense nuclear arms race, "the iron curtain," containment, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the controversy over the Berlin Wall. The "Miracle on Ice" signified the beginning of the end for the Soviet Union, which collapsed in December of 1991, finally ending the Cold War. The American people have not been so jubilant about a sporting event since the "Miracle on Ice" and may never get so excited about competition in sports again.
The game will never be forgotten by millions of Americans who remember partaking in air raid drills in fear of a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union. Nobody who watched the game or has ever seen the highlights will ever forget the famous call of broadcaster Al Michaels at the end of the game when he shouted, "DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?! YES!" It is said that the post-Cold War Olympic games are not nearly as interesting as they were during the Cold War--The present controversies have little drama compared to the boycotts, kidnappings, and steroid scandals are not nearly as intense as when the two superpowers brought their angst to the playing fields. Notre Dame Observer reporter believes that the lack of intensity in viewing the Olympics takes place because America is the World's only superpower: "The post-Cold War Olympics just don't measure up somehow. I think this is because the United States is now the world's only superpower. Our nation dominates every field of human activity from film to food, fashion to finance.
Our cultural, economic, diplomatic and military power is unmatched. It should come as no surprise that this power is being transferred to international sports. Nor should it be a surprise that other countries carp and complain about this dominance. Any cursory study of history will show that powerful nations attract competitors. What is true of geo-politics is true of sport." I completely agree with his opinion; the drama in international sports is caused by competition diplomatically. Because America's current enemies, the terrorists, do not sponsor their own Olympic team, it is impossible to watch the Olympics with the same fervor.President Ronald Reagan, in his famous Berlin Wall Speech on June 12, 1987, alluded to the significance that international sporting events, and more specifically the Olympics, carry: "One final proposal, one close to my heart: Sport represents a source of enjoyment and ennoblement, and you may have noted that the Republic of Korea--South Korea--has offered to permit certain events of the 1988 Olympics to take place in the North. International sports competitions of all kinds could take place in both parts of this city. And what better way to demonstrate to the world the openness of this city than to offer in some future year to hold the Olympic games here in Berlin, East and West?" Reagan viewed sports as so significant that they could help rebuild Berlin, a city torn apart by the Cold War.
In this case, international sports clearly had significance beyond the playing field because President Reagan intended for them to serve to help rebuild a city in the future that had been split in half during the Cold War. In conclusion, international competition in real life oftentimes translates into the significance of competition in sports. Countless examples of this phenomenon have taken place-especially in the Olympics and the World Cup of soccer. Usually, this extreme competition brings out the best in people, but it can also sometimes encourage negative nationalism or patriotism as it did in the 1998 World Cup. It will be interesting to see what this year's Olympics bring in terms of events extending beyond the field of play.'White House Dream Team: Jesse Owens.' whitehouse.gov. 2 May 2004 .
.'White House Dream Team: Jesse Owens.' whitehouse.gov. 2 May 2004 . .Urban Legends: Jesse Owens and Adolf Hitler. 26 Feb. 1995.
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2 May 2004 . .KIndred, Dave. 'Joe Louis' biggest knockout.' The Sporting News 10 Feb. 1999. 2 May 2004 .
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'Joe Louis' biggest knockout.' The Sporting News 10 Feb. 1999. 2 May 2004 . .KIndred, Dave. 'Joe Louis' biggest knockout.' The Sporting News 10 Feb.
1999. 2 May 2004 . .KIndred, Dave. 'Joe Louis' biggest knockout.' The Sporting News 10 Feb. 1999.
2 May 2004 . .'Iran Tops US 2-1.' cnnsi.com. 22 June 1998. 2 May 2004 .'Iran Tops US 2-1.' cnnsi.com. 22 June 1998. 2 May 2004 .'Iran Tops US 2-1.' cnnsi.com.
22 June 1998. 2 May 2004 .Blum, Ronald. 'Yankees gain revenge on Devil Rays with 12-1 rout.' USA Today 31 Mar. 2004, Natl ed. 2 May 2004 .
.Gallagher, Jack. 'Valentine, Marines set sail again.' The Japan Times 30 Mar. 2004. 2 May 2004.Gallagher, Jack. 'Valentine, Marines set sail again.' The Japan Times 30 Mar.
2004. 2 May 2004.Bedean, Michael. 'Why they call it a Miracle.' espn.com. 23 Feb. 2004.
2 May 2004. .Bedean, Michael. 'Why they call it a Miracle.' espn.com. 23 Feb. 2004. 2 May 2004.
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'How I learned to love the Olympics.' The Observer 26 Feb. 2002. 2 May 2004. .Flipse, Scott. 'How I learned to love the Olympics.' The Observer 26 Feb.
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