No one likes to lose, and certainly no one likes to admit they’re going to lose. So when athletes guarantee a victory for themselves or their team it really comes as no surprise.
However, not all guarantees are issued the same, a guarantee truly becomes great when an athlete can gain all the media’s attention. Ryan Kalil’s recent full-page advertisement in the Charlotte Observer is a testament to that.
No only did he ensure no one would know about the used car and furniture sales in the Charlotte reading area for that day; but also that he will be on the receiving of any, and all criticism if the Panthers fail to win the Super Bowl (which is very likely).
Nevertheless, fortune does indeed favor the bold, and there is no doubt that Kalil’s advertisement was just that. If somehow his prediction comes true he could, and should, find his guarantee among the greatest of all time.
It is not unprecedented that a risky prediction comes true, and when it does all the glory goes to the one who issued it; such as those listed here. I like to call them the “The Masters of The Guarantee”
Broadway Joe Lets Baltimore Know:
If there is a Godfather of the guarantee it is none other than Joe Namath.
In Super Bowl III his New York Jets had the daunting task of facing the Baltimore Colts, who were the much favored team. Everyone knew it, and probably no one more than Colts fans themselves.
According to reports, before the match-up Namath was in Miami to accept an award when he was heckled by a Baltimore fan.
Namath, who has been known to enjoy the liquor from time to time, took a sip of booze and responded with this now famous line: ““The Jets will win. I guarantee it.”
It was ignored by most initially due to the fact that the Jets were 18 point underdogs to the Colts who were prematurely entitled “The Greatest Football team in history”.
The media and history could not ignore Namath when he gave one of the greatest performances in NFL history and lead his team to a 16-7 win over the Colts and being named MVP of Super Bowl III. Only after the victory did the tale of Namath’s booze inspired statement reach the masses.
To this day Namath’s words are what every guarantee of victory is compared to.
Muhammad Ali aka “Nostradamus”:
You don’t need me to tell you just how cocky Ali was/is, but the reason we still talk about him today, and will until our dying days is that he sure as hell could back it up.
The pinnacle of his trash talking came in 1965 when he told the media that he would knock Sonny Liston.
The first fight between the two was the last fight Ali would fight under the name Cassius Clay, and after defeating Liston he reminded the world one simple thing: “I’m the greatest!”.
After creating a stir such as that, it was only natural that Ali returned with even more cockiness in their rematch.
He told reporters that he had dreamed of defeating Sonny in the first round; and only two minutes in to the fight, he did just that.
Granted there is much debate as to whether Liston really was knocked out…
Still, I had a dream I was dating Lana Del Rey (so hot) and that never came true, so much kudos to the G.O.A.T for making his “dream” a reality.
Rasheed Wallace was one of the more polarizing players in NBA history, and was in the thick of one the most polarizing rivalries in the NBA over the past years between his Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers.
The two titans of the Midwest met in the 2004 Eastern Conference finals, and after a game 1 defeat at the hand of the Pacers, Rasheed had this statement to make to the media.
To be fair Rasheed did not have a good game by any stretch of the imagination, but his words and energy seemed to be enough to rally the Pistons to win game 2 in a very hostile environment, albeit thanks to Tayshaun Prince’s block of Reggie Miller.
Wallace and the Pistons eventually beat the Pacers in six games, and the L.A. Lakers in 5 to win the 2004 NBA Championship.
Messier Saves The Day:
Hockey players aren’t known for being the most vocal, but Mark Messier got the media’s attention when in Namath-like words he predicted his New York Rangers would defeat the New Jersey Devils after trailing 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.
Similar to Joe, Messier took matters into his own hands in securing his guarantee. In Game 6 he scored a natural hat-trick in the 3rd period, and lead the Rangers to a Eastern Conference Finals victory, and eventually the 1994 Stanley Cup Championship.
In a career that was littered with excellence this moment truly defined Mark Messier as one of the greatest of all time.
Jason Terry Tat’s Up:
Similar to Kalil, Jason Terry didn’t wait until the post-season or even the regular season to make his guarantee.
Before the 2010-2011 season began Terry had the Larry O’Brien trophy tattooed on his right bicep.
The statement was a bold one given that the Mavericks were an infamously awful playoff team and Lakers and the Spurs were teams thought to be way better than them in their conference.
Not to mention the Miami Heat back east, who had just revamped their roster to form “The Heatles”.
Had the Mavericks not won a title, and Terry went on to retire without a ring, he would of faced a fate worse than the embarrassment of NBA Title tattoo: A tribal armband cover-up.
Luckily he was able to avoid the ultimate humiliation from his peers and the media when Dallas defeated Miami in six games to win their first NBA Championship.
Only time will tell if Ryan Kalil’s advertisement investment will pay off, and until then let debate begin on whether it was warranted.
One thing is for sure, there will be no debate as to who the “Master of The Guarantee” is if Kalil and the Panthers reach the promised land this season.
Do you think these guys are the masters? Am I missing anyone? Please feel free to start the friendly banter below.