The Most Empty Promises in Sports for the Last Few Years
Back in the day, it took some potent talent-backed hubris to guarantee a goal, a win or a championship.
Babe Ruth did it and we were in complete awe. Joe Namath did it and we were somewhat in awe. Mark Messier did it and we felt a smidgen of awe. But now every over-hyped narcissist seems to be making a promise.
Note to players, owners, coaches, and yeah, even you porn stars (click on to find out more): sports guarantees are just plain goofy.
Now showing: the most vacuous vows in recent sports history.
Lebron James' 7 + Championships Guarantee
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
The Promise: "Not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7..."
The outcome: No titles yet.
But give the guy a chance. If the Heat win every year starting in 2012, he'll have fulfilled his promise by 2020 (by which time experts predict we'll have self-driving cars, 3-D video conferencing, human limb regeneration and a base on the moon.)
Dan Gilbert's Open Letter
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
The Promise: "I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER 'KING' WINS ONE. You can take it to the bank."
[Caps are Gilbert's, not mine]
The Outcome: The gods are still deciding what to do with this one. But I think this reader commenting on a Washington Post article regarding the promise summed it up best:
"What exactly is the cash value of that wager? Do fans get season-ticket refunds? Can fans sue Gilbert for failure to deliver? Which bank is he talking about? And what kind of currency do they have at that bank? Confederate dollars? Monopoly money?"
Larissa Riquelme Swears She'll Strip
The Promise: "Si Paraguay gana, me desnudo."
Translation: If Paraguay wins, I'm getting good'n nekkid.
The Outcome: Sure, they made it to the quarter finals, but come on folks, it's Paraguay. The last and only -guay to win a World Cup was the Ura- one. And that was back when Harry Truman was president.
To Riquelme's credit though, she did run naked.
John Rigas' "The Tools They Need" Speech
The Promise: After the Sabres lost the Stanley Cup on a controversial goal, team owner John Rigas stood in front of City Hall, channeled Winston Churchill, and promised mourning fans that he'd infuse the Sabres franchise with money and talent. "We're determined to give them the tools they need to get the job done," were his infamous words.
The outcome: Shortly thereafter, Rigas was sentences to 15 years in the big house for bank fraud, wire fraud, and securities fraud. The Sabres went bankrupt.
Winston Montero Vows to Take Down Zou Shiming in Beijing
The Promise: Dominican boxer Winston Montero swore that he would defeat heavily favored world champion light-flyweight boxer Zou Shiming in the 2008 Olympics.
And the zinger....
The loss was to Amnat Ruenroeng in the Round of 16. Montero never even came close to getting in the ring with the champ.
Tony Romo's "At Some Point" Guarantee
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
The Promise: "This team is going to win a Super Bowl at some point."
The Outcome: Go ahead, hold your breath, cross your fingers or kiss your lucky rabbit's foot. Just do not be surprised when you end up blue with arthritic knuckles and fur on your lips.
Mike Brown Pledges Not to Trade Carson Palmer
The Promise: "If he is going to walk away from his commitment we aren’t going to reward him for doing it.”
Bobbi Eden Promises...er, "favors"
The Outcome: Spain 1, The Netherlands 0.
Sure the game could have gone either way, but erotic star Bobbi Eden had about 23,000 followers. A little math tells you that to honor her promise--and let's just say she would have given exactly one minute of bliss to each follower--she would have had to perform 16 straight days of favors. Non stop.
Sorry, but was not ever going to happen.
Anthony Smith Guarantees a Win Against Undefeated Pats
The Promise: "We're going to win, Yeah, I can guarantee a win."
Really? Against the undefeated 2007 Patriots? Really?
The Outcome: Steelers 13, Patriots 34
Tom Brady's "Only 17 Points?" Scoff
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
But later, Brady ate a giant helping of the same pie.
The Promise: When Plaxico Burress predicted the Giants would take out the undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, Brady responded: "We're only going to score 17 points? OK. Is Plax playing defense? I wish he had said 45-42 and gave us a little credit for scoring more points."
The Outcome: A pair of touchdowns + the extra points = 14 points and one monumental loss.