15 Best Guarantees in Sports History

Matt MartinezCorrespondent IAugust 15, 2011

15 Best Guarantees in Sports History

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    Sometimes having a big mouth can get you in trouble. It can add extra pressure to you and your teammates; but sometimes it makes you look like a genius.

    These guys all put their money where their mouth was. These guys knew how to perform after making gaudy statements.

    These are the 15 Best Guarantees in Sports History.

15. Alex Ovechkin

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    After Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, the Caps trailed the Penguins 3-2. Ovechkin felt compelled to make a prediction:

    "Next game is going to be different. It's not over yet. If somebody thinks it's over, it's not over.”

    Ovechkin backed up his smack, assisting on three goals in a 5-4 overtime win. The Pens won the series in the decisive seventh game, but Ovechkin had a big series in a losing effort.

14. Mike Beasley

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    Kansas State may have been treated like a red-headed step-child for decades by KU but in 2008 Michael Beasley made promises:

    “We’re going to beat Kansas at home. We’re going to beat them their house. We’re going to beat them in Africa. Wherever we play, we’re going to beat them.”

    Beasley made good on his promise, leading K State past their in-state rivals for the first time in 24 years.

13. Jimmy Rollins

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    Jimmy didn’t necessarily predict a World Series win at the beginning of the 2007 regular season, but he did predict the Mets would fall:

    "The Mets had a chance to win the World Series last year. Last year is over. I think we are the team to beat in the NL East, finally. But, that's only on paper."

    The Red Sox would capture the Series in ’07, but Rollins’ Phils made a nice run, ousting the Met’s and re-claiming their spot at the top of the division.

12. Moses Malone

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    “Fo, Fo, Fo.” –Malone’s prediction for the Sixers’ 1982-83 playoff run.

    What did it mean? Simply put, Malone predicted Philly would win their three playoff series in four games each.

    Even though it took five games to oust the Milwaukee Bucks, Malone’s bold prophecy resulted in a championship for the City of Brotherly Love.

11. Tim Tebow

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    No matter where you stand, Tim Tebow is a polarizing figure. The decorated Florida alum made a pledge after an unbelievable loss to Ole Miss in 2008.

    Tebow promised that it wouldn’t happen again. The result? Florida ran the table en route to a National Championship game win over Oklahoma.

    Now, can you say the same for the Broncos?

10. Michael Jordan

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    You can’t blame Mike for being cocky. His Bulls three-peated twice and by the time the 1998 NBA Playoffs rolled around, he had already collected five rings.

    So, when the Pacers evened the series at 3-3 with a three point win, Mike shrugged it off:

    “I don’t care what happens today, don’t care what happened in the other series. We will win Game 7.”

    His Bulls did win Game 7 and eventually derailed the Utah Jazz in the Finals in six games.

9. Babe Ruth

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    It’s Game 3 of the ’32 Series and the mighty Yankees and Chicago Cubs are battling. The chubby Ruth strides to the plate and points in the direction of center field.

    Surprisingly, Cubs’ hurler Charlie Root didn’t stick the pitch in Ruth’s ear. Instead, the Bambino hit a towering shot over the center field fence.

8. Kramer

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    OK, so it didn’t really happen but this is classic Kramer. After selling Steinbrenner’s birthday card to a collectible shop, Cosmo is forced to find a way to pry it from a sick boy’s tiny fingers.

    His solution? He promises Yankee Paul O’Neill will hit two home runs in a game. O’Neill is disgusted with the request but homers early in the game. Later, he smacks a liner to the gap and scores on an inside-the-park dinger.

    Unfortunately for Kramer, the play is scored a triple and an error and the boy refuses to give up the card.

7. Pat Riley

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    Riley hadn’t even been fitted for his 1987 ring before he promised his Lakers would repeat in 1988.

    No team had won back-to-back championships in nearly two decades but the Magic-led Lakers reached the Finals in 1988 and got past the Pistons in an epic seven game series.

6. Plaxico Burress

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    Plax is probably best remembered for shooting himself in the leg at a club, but before that, he was a regular George Zimmer.

    After a successful run through the NFL playoffs in 2006, Plaxico’s Giants were set to square off against the unbeaten Patriots. Very confidently, Plaxico guaranteed victory and even provided a score: 23-17.

    Partial credit, Burress. The Giants did upend the mighty Pats, but the final was 17-14.

5. Rasheed Wallace

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    I don’t want to get into his feud with E-40 or his weird patch of hair on the back of his head; the man can predict a win.

    During the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals, Sheed brazenly said: “We will win Game 2.”

    The Pistons backed up Wallace as they pushed through Indiana in six games. They capped off the season with a dominant five-game series win over the Lakers as they hoisted their fifth championship.

4. Muhammad Ali

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    Who knows how many guarantees Ali tossed out there before his 1965 rematch with Sonny Liston. The Greatest told reporters that he had a dream about the bout in which he knocked Liston out in the first round.

    What do you expect from perhaps the most verbose man in sports history? His dream came true as the fabled “phantom punch” matted Liston before the two-minute mark.

3. Paul the Psychic Octopus

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    Everyone else pales in comparison to Paul. The octopus predicted eight out of eight 2010 FIFA World Cup games.

    The process was simple: put a mussel in two boxes with a country’s flag on the outside. Whichever Paul eats first will win.

    Paul also predicted four of six Euro Cup games correctly, putting his accuracy percentage at 86%. On a sadder note, Paul passed away in October of 2010. RIP buddy, I wish we could have made that trip to Vegas we had always talked about.

2. Mark Messier

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    Mark Messier is undoubtedly one of the greatest players the NHL has ever seen. He won a myriad of awards for his play and notched six Stanley Cups.

    In 1994, his New York Rangers were down three games to two in the Eastern Conference Finals to their cross river rivals, the New Jersey Devils. Messier publicly declared the Rangers would win game six.

    He was right and he played brilliantly. Messier netted a hat trick and the Rangers went on to win the Cup.

1. Joe Namath

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    “Broadway Joe” sure would have looked like a world-class buffoon had his Super Bowl III prediction been erroneous. But Joe went out on a limb (a very thin, flimsy limb), and predicted a win over the Colts.

    It wasn’t as close as the 16-7 final score looked. New York led the whole way and Jerry Hill’s one yard TD for Baltimore run only left 3:19 on the clock.

    The victory marked the Jet’s lone Super Bowl victory, but it blazed a trail for the NFL/AFL merger, proving there was no lesser league.