Ryan Kalil's Guarantee Gives Carolina Panthers Nearly Impossible Task

Zach KruseSenior Analyst IJuly 26, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 11:  Center Ryan Kalil #67 (C) of the Carolina Panthers during the NFL season opening game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Carindals defeated the Panthers 28-21.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

This piece is far from a takedown attempt, but what Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil did on Wednesday has certainly put his team in a difficult position heading into the 2012 season. 

Kalil took out a full-page advertisement in the Wednesday edition of The Charlotte Observer, and his message was a clear one.

The Carolina Panthers are going to win the Super Bowl this season.

The problem is, the Panthers are probably not going to win the Super Bowl—or even contend for it—in 2012. 

In Kalil's 178-word proclamation, which he told Joseph Person of the Observer in a follow-up story was his "war cry" to the fans, the Pro Bowl center ran down a brief history of the Panthers franchise.

He then concluded: "One hundred-percent, sterling silver victory. The Lombardi Trophy, and it reads: CAROLINA PANTHERS - SUPER BOWL XLVII CHAMPIONS!"

It's hard not to love the confidence, especially from a young team with an exciting new leader and a future that suddenly looks very bright. However, let's pump the brakes a little bit.

The Panthers are still a team coming off a 6-10 campaign, and while the pieces are starting to fall into place, 2012 probably won't be the year in which Carolina gets its first taste of NFL glory. 

While every NFL team—from Jacksonville to Green Bay to New York—is talking about playing for the Super Bowl at this time of year, few are talking about it publicly. Even fewer are taking out full-page ads to shout out from a mountain top.

The rest of the NFL are speaking privately, instilling a sense of confidence from within, as opposed to putting on this kind of brigade for all to see. 

Still, I'm guessing Panthers fans love this from Kalil. He's one of the more outspoken and well-liked players on the roster. Furthermore, just hearing the words "Super Bowl" mentioned about their team is music to the ears of a fanbase that has seen its share of dark days lately. 

However, this just feels like a lose-lose situation. 

Only the diehard Panthers fans are picking them to even contend for a Super Bowl this year.

Even if Carolina goes 10-6, cracks the playoffs and loses in the postseason, isn't that a failed mission, in part because of what Kalil shouted out to start training camp?

Do you really think other fans are going to forget Kalil's prediction? 

If the Panthers go, say, 7-9 and miss the playoffs completely, Kalil's well-said piece becomes a laughing point for the rest of the 31 teams.

Remember what happened last year with Vince Young and the "Dream Team"? That preseason statement still hasn't faded away. 

What about Rex Ryan and the Jets' non-stop Super Bowl bravado? Few coaches (and teams, really) get mocked more. 

When the news first hit of Kalil's ad, I had no problem with it. In fact, I liked it. I still do. A young, confident football team is among the most dangerous.

However, even Panthers fans can agree that it has put the team in a difficult situation before even one practice has been completed.

Winning a Super Bowl in 2012 would be a monumental achievement. It's not impossible—nothing in the NFL is, to be perfectly honest—but anything less now is going to be mocked and ridiculed. 

For a young team on the rise, such as the Panthers, this ad puts them in a lose-lose situation.