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The future hurts... (8.15)

Bobby: The folks on the World-Aid board, they aren't in it for the future. They like the access and the status it gives them. And they don't want to lose it. Their risk tolerance is exactly zero. Coach Tikhonov in Lake Placid.

That's a sport ball analogy, right? Ok. The future hurts. But only once. Denying it stings forever. Like Shelob in Cirith Ungol.

Oh, that's a Middle Earth fantasy analogy, right?

Viktor Vasilyevich Tikhonov (4 June 1930 – 24 November 2014) was a  Soviet ice hockey player and coach. Tikhonov was a defenceman with VVS Moscow and Dynamo Moscow from 1949 to 1963, winning four national championships. He was the coach of the Soviet team when it was the dominant team in the world, winning eight World Championship gold medals, as well as Olympic gold in 1984, 1988, and 1992. Tikhonov also led CSKA Moscow to twelve consecutive league championships. He was named to the IIHF Hall of Fame as a builder in 1998.

The "Miracle on Ice" was a medal-round game during the men's ice hockey tournament at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, played between the hosting United States and the four-time defending gold medalists, the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union had won the gold medal in five of the six previous Winter Olympic Games, and were the favorites to win once more in Lake Placid. The team consisted primarily of professional players with significant experience in international play. By contrast, the United States' team—led by head coach Herb Brooks—consisted exclusively of amateur players, and was the youngest team in the tournament and in U.S. national team history. In the group stage, both the Soviet and U.S. teams were unbeaten; the U.S. achieved several notable results, including a 2–2 draw against Sweden, and a 7–3 upset victory over second-place favorites Czechoslovakia.

For the first game in the medal round, the United States played the Soviets. Finishing the first period tied at 2–2, and the Soviets leading 3–2 following the second, the U.S. team scored two more goals to take their first lead during the third and final period, winning the game 4–3. Following the game, the U.S. went on to clinch the gold medal by beating Finland in the final. Likewise, the Soviet Union took the silver medal by beating Sweden.

The victory became one of the most iconic moments of the Games and in U.S. sports. Equally well-known was the television call of the final seconds of the game by Al Michaels for ABC, in which he declared: "Do you believe in miracles?! YES!" In 1999, Sports Illustrated named the "Miracle on Ice" the top sports moment of the 20th century. As part of its centennial celebration in 2008, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) named the "Miracle on Ice" as the best international ice hockey story of the past 100 years.

Shelob is a fictional demon in the form of a giant spider from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. She appears at the end of the fourth book, second volume (The Two Towers), of The Lord of the Rings. Her lair lies in Cirith Ungol ("the pass of the spider") leading into Mordor. Gollumdeliberately leads Frodo Baggins there in hopes of recovering the One Ring when Shelob attacks Frodo. The plan is foiled when Samwise Gamgeegreatly injures Shelob with Frodo's Elvish dagger, Sting, and the Phial of Galadriel.