Friday, March 13, 2015
KISSING SOPHIA LOREN
Joe Posnanski writes so well. Such a talent, and today he posits that the “Miracle on Ice” is the most important sporting event in the United States…EVER! His logic is good, his writing (have I told you how much I admire his writing before??) is good as ever. I think this stuff just pours out of him, too.
How do you get from a discussion of the US hockey victory in 1980 to Sophia Loren? Then, to kissing Sophia Loren? The circuitous route describes the important concept of perspective on the part of the writer/observer.
Take a look at Joe’s blog entry, it is worth it. http://joeposnanski.com/kissing-sophia-loren/
As you probably suspected, I am going to describe it to you, anyway.
Joe makes a good case for the importance of that US victory on ice and the lasting taste which I will allow you to observe on your own, but the perspective part of writing, the unique point of view, is illustrated by the story excerpted below:
Jon [Hock, filming a documentary on the Miracle from the Russian point of view] asked him [Kulushkin, the Russian sports writer] what his game story looked like the day after the Miracle. Kulushkin seemed confused by the question. What was in it? Game details. It was a short story. The United States had won. When asked if he had included all of the drama (it was, beyond the significance, an amazing game), Kulushkin asked, "What is the drama?" And then he said this:
"Once a crazy kid kissed Sophia Loren. And he's telling for the rest of his life, 'Oh, I kissed Sophia Loren.'"
"Ask Sophia Loren if she remembers."
Another dramatic pause.
"Different point of view."
I love everything about this quote. I love the imagery of it, of course. I love the small but visible bitterness that still lingers in it. I love the unintentional way that he reveals how painful that loss was.
I was in Los Angeles the day the US beat the Russians in hockey. Not a hockey fan then or now, but that sticks in my memory like the day Kennedy was assassinated. I join Joe in lauding the story. Lesson for us all: let the punch line linger in our minds each time we foist OUR important event on others.