Feb. 22, 2005: Tipping Point

To those of us watching the Winter Olympics back in 1980, it was one of the most amazing moments in sports. The U.S. Olympic hockey team coming back from a one goal deficit to first tie and then defeat the mighty Soviet team. Al Michaels summed it up for us all at the time, with his unforgettable "do you believe in miracles?"

Except that it was both less and more than a miracle that a bunch of American college kids could beat the Soviet professionals at their own game. Herb Brooks, the U.S. coach, worked those kids relentlessly; and what he drilled into them was the belief that they could win. They had to believe it before they could make believers of the rest of us.

It's still too early to say, of course, but that may be what happened on election day in Iraq: the tipping point between self-doubt and self-confidence. And once you get people to believe in themselves, that is a force to be reckoned with.

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