Never get caught telling a hockey player it's just a game. Never get caught trying to explain to him all the things in the world that matter so much more. His mind might well acknowledge the truth to your point, but his soul will be powerless to accept it. Considering the immensity of what he gives to the sport, and the immeasurably of all it offers in return.
Nothing ever feels as perfect as a moment of flawlessness on the ice. No bond as strong as one that compels brothers to bleed for one another. Not many leaders are this versed in the craft of motivation. Not many pursuits evoke such visions of brilliance.
This is why it hurts so much when skill falls short of what the will desires. This is why it's so unforgettable when absolute passion yields ultimate reward. And that's all still just the start of what the game can do to you.
The stakes rise as their seasons continue from here. While you watch from a distance, remember what was validated up close. Hockey may in fact be just a game, but it's also who they are." Flyers vs Rangers, episode 4 -HBO 24/7
“One of his predecessors, Patrick Roy, liked to make the impossible look impossible. Price likes to make the impossible look easy. For Roy, it was as if he was saying to opponents, I can do the spectacular, and you can’t. He challenged them. Price’s message is different. You think that was spectacular — look at my face. That was nothing. I have so much more in me. Price doesn’t challenge his opponents, pushing them to be better. He defeats them.”
— Ken Dryden on Carey Price
"Why didn't they bury him?" "It would take a thousand men a thousand years to gather all the bones that lie here and commit them earth. Whole generations of Arendia rest here -Mimbrate, Wacite, Asturian. All lie where they fell, and the moss blankets their endless slumber." "How long until we reach the plain?" "Two days, probably." "Two days? And it's all like this? Why?" "At first for pride -and honor. Later for grief and revenge. Finally it was simply because we didn't know how to stop. As you said before, sometimes we Arends aren't very bright." "But always brave." "Oh, yes. Always brave. It's our national curse." -Garion & Lelldorin, Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings
Here it is, the last part of the NHL Meme:
People follow a sport like hockey and they look for symbolism. They want the game to mean something. They want the game to matter. So to them, a fresh sheet of ice just after the zamboni’s laid its final spray of water presents the purest vision of possibility they could imagine. Skates being sharpened over and over and over again are meditation on perfection. And the routines and rituals that surround the rink are a language of dedication in need of no translation. To them games aren’t meant to be seen they’re meant to be felt. Blood points a path directly to the heart. Sweat, a trail to the soul and tears, a connection to a conviction that people search for their entire lives. The ones that look for something more, believe in something more, are the ones that turn close games into unforgettable nights, who transform great players into heroes for all time. And who no matter what maintain unwavering faith in the incredible. They’re people out there who look at something like hockey and they want the game to matter. So it does.
I'd say this is 100% accurate.
We read fantasy to find the colors again, I think. To taste strong spices and hear the songs the sirens sang. There is something old and true in fantasy that speaks to something deep within us, to the child who dreamt that one day he would hunt the forests of the night, and feast beneath the hollow hills, and find a love to last forever somewhere south of Oz and north of Shangri-La.
They can keep their heaven. When I die, I’d sooner go to Middle-Earth.” - George R.R. Martin
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” -- C.S. Lewis