Since kindling my enjoyment of the game of kings, I found myself harbouring vague pipe dreams of somehow reaching stardom as a player; asking Santa to bring me some talent for Christmas, making a deal with the Devil to the same end (and upon death I would replace Cerberus as the guardian of the gates of Hell), writing to Mark Messier to ask if I could borrow his ability for a while (and then conveniently forgetting to give it back), all were methods I considered putting into practice. But see, this all lead to a more specific purpose than just general stardom. About a year ago, I was talking with a friend of mine who falls into a similarly small minority as I in that he plays American football, and enjoys it. He mentioned that his aim was to become the first British player ever to be drafted into the National Football League - he plays at the position of outside linebacker; his name is Matt Floyd, and that piece of information is so if he ever hits is big, I can point back and say "I knew him, I knew him when he was terrible" - and I found this interesting.
To my knowledge, there has yet to be a Brit drafted into the NFL, and this brought rise to a new facet of my own dreams - I dreamt of becoming the first Brit ever to be drafted into the NHL.
You may think that was absurd. Owen Nolan was the first Brit ever to be drafted into the NHL, everyone knows that, you might cry, a claim that is actually false; he apparently holds dual nationalities, evidence by his representation of Team Canada, and so in my twisted logic, doesn't count as British. But none of that really matters, for today my dream was crushed and worse yet, it was crushed by someone I barely even knew anything about.
He may not even be the first Brit drafted - I feel no real desire to check further, since there is no way short of me travelling back in time and switching him with the baby of a French couple in the maternity ward of the hospital in which he came into the world for me to make it not so - but for one reason or another, I happened upon his Wikipedia entry. I could almost hear the child inside me wearing the skates and pads scream with anguish as he realised he would never become a record-breaker, or even a record-setter, and would have to make it on talent alone. So damn you Byron Dafoe, you and your barely over .500 record!
Still, it doesn't really matter. After all, I can't skate.