On Friday, President Donald Trump surveyed the crowd at his reelection rally and determined the people in front of him were, by and large, pretty old.
They'd have to be to, if, as Trump guessed, "most of" them remembered the United States men's ice hockey team's "Miracle on Ice" victory over the Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics, which was played 40 years ago Monday.
More than half the players on that team, which not only shocked the Soviets but went on to win a gold medal, hailed from Minnesota. So did its iconic coach, Herb Brooks, who'd coached at the University of Minnesota for seven wildly successful years before taking the national team job.
Trump, it soon became clear, had not concerned himself with facts like people's backgrounds, the positions they played, or their names.
Instead, the pinball in his brain immediately bounced to the 2028 Olympics, which will be held in Los Angeles -- "thank you, thank you President Trump, thank you President Trump, thank you very much, thank you President Trump," he said -- before transitioning back to the "special people" in attendance.
Wait, nope -- before that, Trump had to brag about turnout, and the "incredible" turnout the night before in Colorado. Trump explained he'd scheduled the Las Vegas rally for noon because "I want to get back, we gotta deal with China, we gotta deal with Russia, we gotta deal with North Korea, South Korea, we gotta deal with the rest of the world -- get my people back, we gotta get the hell out of here, right?"
Finally, Trump started calling up members of the Miracle on Ice team, first bailing on team captain Mike Eruzione's last name, then bullying "Mike" into affirming Trump is a "good athlete" and a "good golfer," and asking Eruzione, a forward, how many shots did he "rebuff" in the game against the Soviets.
Speaking briefly, Eruzione, who wore a "KEEP AMERICA GREAT" hat, said the team was "honored" to be there and called its presence at the rally "ironic." (Really.)
Trump then called up the 13 other players, all but a few of whom donned red Trump hats. Eight of those 14 flanking Trump were Minnesota natives.
(As the Washington Post reports, four players were in Vegas for 40th anniversary celebrations but not called onstage at Trump's rally. All four -- Steve Christoff, Mark Johnson, Steve Janaszak and Eric Strobel -- are also Minnesotan. )
With the players behind him and no clear explanation, Trump suddenly called out the press, then swiveled to the movie Parasite winning the Oscar for Best Picture.
"Look I get along great with South Korea, but you know, I never saw that one before.They used to call it 'Best Foreign Movie,' but now we do it that way, I don't get it. But that's what it used to be. But this is really an incredible time for our country. That's why I like to see things that we do get honored, because nobody is doing what we do, nobody can do it like us, we're the greatest country in the world, again."
Then, remembering who was behind him, Trump rambled his way to a mention of "Coach Brooks" (no first name forthcoming), whom he described this way: "We do have somebody that I'd like to point out, because this team, they had a coach. And that coach was a very inspirational coach."
After Eruzione spoke for a while, Brooks' daughter Kelly -- also wearing a Trump hat -- addressed the crowd, visibly nervous.
"Thank you," Kelly Brooks said, "I'm honored that his legacy is still alive today, and he would be proud to be here with you all. And, my personal opinion, he would've been a Trump fan."
In Herb Brooks' own personal opinion, back when he was, y'know, alive, the Minnesotan was notably apolitical, and at various points turned down offers to run for office from both parties.
Trump, for his part, pronounced Brooks "brutal," tough," and "great," and we'd use exactly two of those adjectives to describe what it's like watching the video below.
One thing we can all agree about: We gotta get the hell out of here, right?