Why not say, "Baseball is love." , "Golf is love.", "Nascar is love", or whatever else someone decides love is to them.
The word 'love' quickly loses any meaning.
If a word can mean anything, then it simply means nothing.
This is done, indirectly, by certain individuals within sports. I doubt you hear it much in Nascar but you get it indirectly within golf and definitely within baseball although it's presented differently. I bet you could also find it within hunting or similar activities. Aikidoists, however, seldom use those terms to refer to a sport or activity. Better to deride it for allowing competition.
That being said, I agree and disagree with much of what you wrote. Morihei Ueshiba, as Don pointed out, clearly came from a mystical realm and seemingly bought into a lot of stuff I would frankly deem as crap. But, he was what he was and you can't entirely disregard it.
However, at the same time, trying to model everything: diet, no water during training, breathing exercises, etc. when you have no basis to define if any of it accomplishes anything seems dumb too. Maybe Ueshiba ate the diet he did because he couldn't find a steak and with more protein in his diet he would have grown taller and been twice as good as he was? So we come along as the knuckleheads we are and eat a macrobiotic diet like Ueshiba did because, well, that's what he did for a part of his life. And he was really good. And we want to be just like him.
All the spiritual blather sometimes seems exactly the same to me, but you can't just disregard it either, if only for a historical understanding of where the art came from.