Gentlemen, today we are the underdogs! The newspapers are predicting us to lose. The fans have their doubts. Some of you in this locker room have doubts about tonight's game. But, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks. What does matter is how well you play the game and who’s on top when the game ends!
Let me tell you the story of the ‘Miracle on Ice.” Some of you may be familiar with this story. Back in 1980 the US Olympic Men’s Hockey Team pulled off one of the biggest upsets in sports history. They were the underdogs and they captured the gold medals. They were a group of unknown college kids and amateurs who came together as one unit and upset a heavily favored team of Russian professionals.
Their coach, Herb Brooks, told them before the match that if they played the Russians ten times, they might lose nine out of ten, but they weren’t going to lose that one! He said “…One game. If we played 'em ten times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight. Tonight, we skate with them. Tonight, we stay with them. And we shut them down because we can!...” That day’s game was going to be the one-in-ten that they win. Why? Because they can!
It has happened many times in history, ever since David defeated Goliath. The underdog can win! Why? Because they can! Nothing in life is guaranteed. They aren’t guaranteed a win tonight. The favorite team doesn’t always win. When they relax, when they let their guard down, when they take you for granted, and when you out-play them – they will be defeated! Because they can!
In the infamous words of coach Herb Brooks, “This is your time! Now go out there and take it!”
(permission granted to reproduce this speech as long as author and website are sighted. Thanks! - author - Mike Sellers, website - PreGameSpeeches.com)