best players play three-quarters of the game

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Michael30000

Senior Member
Russian
Hello everyone,

From the book 99: Stories of the game by Wayne Gretzky.

"If you ask anybody who’s won a Stanley Cup, he will tell you it’s the ultimate team accomplishment. Everybody has to participate. It’s not like other sports where some of the best players play three-quarters of the game. Every guy on the team has to play his heart out to win the Stanley Cup."

Does the phrase in question imply that those best players play more than necessary, i.e. they play (in terms of efforts made) for themselves and for the rest of the team? Or does it mply the opposite, i.e. that they do not make all the efforts they could make?

Thank you.
 
  • pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    No, it just means that in other sports, the starting players participate in more than 75% of the game (often the entire game). You can't do that in hockey; it is rare for a player to play as much as 30 minutes of a 60-minute game.
     

    grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    No, it just means that in other sports, the starting players participate in more than 75% of the game (often the entire game). You can't do that in hockey; it is rare for a player to play as much as 30 minutes of a 60-minute game.
    The passage doesn't say they play more than three-quarters of the game. And I understand it to be about playing one's heart out rather than about merely the time spent on the ice rink or the pitch.
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    Well, it's obviously not merely about that. I was referencing the bolded part, not the whole quote. I don't think we really disagree.

    To expand the entire passage more fully:

    In most sports, the best players get most of the playing time. This is not true in hockey. Therefore all of the players, not just the best, need to play their hearts out.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I agree with pob. Gretzky is saying that in other sports, the best/star players are on the court/field/etc. most of the time. The other, less-skilled players spend most of the game on the sidelines ("sitting on the bench", as we would say). He is saying hockey is different. It's so physically intense that the star players are unable to play the vast majority of the game like they are able to do in other sports. They need frequent rest breaks. So the less-skilled players have to play more of the game and make a more substantial contribution. They have more responsibility for overall team success than equivalent players in other sports.

    Added:
    I found this online.

    Hockey (60 minute games):
    Usually, out of the 60 minutes, average players get around 22-24 minutes per game while the best usually go for 28-30 minutes.

    Basketball (48 minute games):
    The most talented players in the league will play around 35 minutes per game. Other role players who come off the bench will play around 22 minutes per game.
     
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