Who Do You Play For?

    It's a great scene from the movie, “Miracle.”  After the US Olympic Hockey team had just played an exhibition contest as part of its early prep for the 1980 Olympic games, Head Coach Herb Brooks was dissatisfied with the effort that his team had put forth, and decided to teach them a lesson.

   Again and again, Brooks mercilessly has the players on the ice skating conditioning drills (line sprints).  Finally one of the Captains, Mike Eruzione, gets the point that is being made, and returns to a dialogue that Brooks had been having with the players earlier. 

   Eruzione:  “Mike Eruzione, Winthrop, Massachusetts!”
   Brooks:  “Who do you play for?”
   Eruzione:  “I play for, the United States of America!”

   This is a breakthrough for the team, as earlier whenever Brooks would ask the players to introduce themselves they had done so by stating which college team that they played for. The group had been assembled from all over the country as a collection of individual hockey players, and Brooks wanted them to get to the point where they identified as one cohesive unit -- the United States of America Olympic hockey team.

   “You think you can win on talent alone? Gentlemen, you don’t have enough talent to win on talent alone.”  Bro ...

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