At Lake Placid, a crowd of joyous fans weaved through the streets yesterday singing "When the Saints Go Marching In."
In Minnesota, home state of more than half of the United States Olympic hockey team, people honked at each other on highways and cheered wildly at any mention of the Olympics or hockey, long after the U.S. had completed its 4-2 triumph over Finland for the gold medal.
Washingtonians will get an opportunity to show their appreciation firsthand this morning when the team arrives at Andrews Air Force Base in three planes. Landings are scheduled at 9:55, 10:05 and 10:15. The squad will arrive at the White House at 11:30 for a noon reception with President Carter.
An Andrews spokesman said visitors will be welcome to greet the team.
But for several Washington-area pubs that cater to the local sports crowd, it was business as usual yesterday. Many customers were still recovering from their Saturday night exploits and found the finale's faceoffs too early.
"It started so early -- 11 a.m. -- we can't even serve beer unitl noon," said John Hite, bartender and son of the owner of McDonald's Raw Bar in Bethesda, which features big-screen viewing. "It would be pretty hard to get people into bar on a Sunday morning after a Saturday night.
"If the game would have been played at night, it would have been wild. Friday night, when they showed the replay of the Russian game, everybody knew the score, but everybody was yelling and screaming like they didn't know the score."
"We had a good crowd, but I don't think it was anything more exciting than for any other sports event," said bartender Bob Beall of Georgetown's number of people in the streets and whatnot , but they were moving. Things stopped for a moment for the ceremonies, but that was about it.
"I worked every night this week, and there was nothing to match the enthusiasm when they showed the games."
Fortunately, for many area viewers, the team saved its best effort for the third period, scoring three goals to overtake the Finns. By then, bar business had picked up.
"It was busier early, probably busier than our usual midday crowd," said Paul Meagher, Sunday manager of the Hawk and Dove on Capitol Hill. "We had a full bar, but the small television bar was overflowing for the third period. The last 30 to 45 minutes, it was really buzzing. Applause and cheering for each of the three goals and applause as time ran out. For about 15 minutes, there were a lot of people poking their heads in.
"There was a lot of enthusiam for all the night games this week. Friday, people cheered as if they didn't know the score (of the TV replay of the Soviet Union-U.S. match)."
At Clyde's of Georgetown, the hockey game livened its already brisk Sunday brunch business.
"We're jampacked Sunday, hockey game or no hockey game," bartender Herman Burns said. "The reaction was very favorable for the U.S., of course I work in the front bar and the TV's in the back bar, and I could hear the noise up here."