Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Last year, the John F. Kennedy Library released more than 260 hours of transcripts and recording. Among them—the president complaining about the poor performance of the Americans at the 1963 World Championships. "Christ, who are we sending over there?" Kennedy asked. "Girls?"

The Americans had just fallen to the Swedes 17-2. Kennedy called up aide David Hackett, a longtime friend, to bemoan the loss. Mitch Potter at the Toronto Star located the audio:


The USA, led by the immortal(?) Marsh Tschida, went 1-5-1 in the tournament, finishing last in their group. They lost by 15 to Sweden, by eight to Finland, by six to Canada, by nine to Czechoslovakia, and by nine to the USSR. It wasn't a good showing at the height of the Cold War.

The Americans' sole victory came against allies West Germany, and even that was fraught with political overtones. Teams were allowed to carry two goalies on their roster, but both West German netminders were injured early in the tournament. They successfully petitioned the IIHF to call up a third goaltender, but that was vetoed by East Germany. The West Germans were forced to start defenseman Hans-Jörg Nagel in net, and the U.S. got their only win by an 8-4 score.

H/t Bmac

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