The 8 Boldest Guarantees in NFL History

Matt Stein@MatthewJSteinCorrespondent IIOctober 25, 2011

The 8 Boldest Guarantees in NFL History

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    Guaranteeing something in the NFL, whether it is a victory or playoff berth, is a two-edged sword. It can either make you look like Nostradamus or like a complete idiot.

    However, as a fan of sports, you love to hear the guarantee. It raises the stakes to a whole other level and forces us to be intrigued.

    From Joe Namath guaranteeing a Super Bowl victory to Jim Fassel guaranteeing a playoff berth, here are the eight boldest guarantees in NFL history.

8. Chad Johnson Guarantees Victory over Undefeated Chiefs

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    Chad Johnson (now known as Ochocinco) has never been afraid to speak his mind. However, his greatest guarantee came during Week 11 of the 2003 season.

    The Cincinnati Bengals were sitting at 4-5 heading into their game against the 9-0 Kansas City Chiefs. Then Johnson had to go and guarantee a victory and put his entire team on the spot.

    For the first time in the history of the universe, Johnson didn't actually put his foot in his mouth, as the Bengals won by a score of 24-19. This event has been recorded by historians and will teach future generations that even the most unlikely of people can be correct sometimes.

7. Nick Saban Guarantees He Will Stay in Miami

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    Back in 2006, Nick Saban was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. He had gone 9-7 in his first year as their coach, and expectations were high for the following season.

    Then the Dolphins struggled early, starting the season with a 1-6 record. In November, the University of Alabama fired its head coach, Mike Shula, and rumors instantly began to circulate that Saban was going to be the new head coach.

    Of course, Saban denied these rumors time and time again all the way through the month of December. Then, just a few weeks later, Saban announced that he was going to be the head coach of the Crimson Tide.

    Never before has someone so quickly reneged on his guarantee. For that, Saban has never been allowed to step foot in the city of Miami again.

6. Anthony Smith Guarantees Victory over One of the Best Teams Ever

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    There are two rules that I live by. First, never mess with a honey badger. Second, never play chicken with a freight train.

    Anthony Smith, a former safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers, obviously enjoys playing chicken with freight trains. That is exactly what he did when he guaranteed a victory over the 2007 New England Patriots. Yeah, those same Patriots who were undefeated—and considered one of the best offenses of all time.

    Clearly, Smith hadn't been following SportsCenter that year. His bold guarantee was quickly shoved right back in his face. The Steelers would not only lose the game, but would lose by a score of 34-13.

    Smith has since vowed silence from Monday to Saturday to ensure he doesn't make another ridiculously bold guarantee that he is in no way capable of backing up.

5. Matt Hasselbeck Wants the Ball and Guarantees a Score

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    During the 2003 NFL playoffs, the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks were heading into overtime. The Seahawks won the coin toss. But instead of simply stating that he wished to receive the ball, Matt Hasselbeck had to say, "We want the ball, and we're going to score."

    While that guarantee was certainly bold, especially considering the game was at Lambeau Field, it also  backfired. Hasselbeck was intercepted by Al Harris, who returned the interception for a 52-yard touchdown to end the game.

    Ever since that game, Hasselbeck has not been allowed to be part of the coin tosses. He can sometimes be found on the sidelines, flipping a quarter and attempting to be silent.

4. Jim Fassel Guarantees the New York Giants Will Make the Playoffs

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    It was the 2000 season, and Jim Fassel and the New York Giants were sitting at 7-4. Having lost two straight games, Fassel came into the press conference and guaranteed that his team was going to make the playoffs.

    Not only would the Giants win their next five games and lock up a playoff spot, but they would make it all the way to the Super Bowl. Of course, they would be destroyed by Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens, but still, you have to love the guarantee that Fassel made.

    It was bold and daring, and we couldn't help but be intrigued by a team that we previously didn't care about. Well done, Mr. Fassel.

3. Kevin Smith Guarantees the Terrible Detroit Lions Will Make the Playoffs

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    When Kevin Smith guaranteed the Detroit Lions were going to make the playoffs, he obviously forgot that he was playing for the freakin' Detroit Lions.

    This was the same Detroit team that had gone 0-16 the season before. Look, I'm all about confidence and high expectations, but Smith took it to a whole new level. Him guaranteeing the playoffs is like me guaranteeing that I won't eat meat for the next year—it just ain't happening.

    No one was surprised when Smith's guarantee didn't come to pass. The Lions finished the season 2-14, and Smith finished the season being laughed at for his bold guarantee.

2. Plaxico Burress Guarantees Super Bowl Victory

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    What do you get when you put an undefeated juggernaut against a lowly wild-card team? 99.9 percent of the time you get a massacre.

    However, that 0.1 percent was all Plaxico Burress cared about when he guaranteed a Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots. We all know about the game and how incredible it was, but many have forgotten about Burress' bold guarantee. It was only fitting that he scored the game-winning touchdown.

    Burress also guaranteed that he would never shoot himself in the leg. Unfortunately, that guarantee didn't come true for him.

1. Joe Namath Makes the Greatest Guarantee of All Time

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    Joe Namath's guaranteed victory over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III has been known as the greatest guarantee in the history of sports.

    Not only were the New York Jets of the AFL heavy underdogs, but the Colts, of the more talented NFL, could boast of Johnny Unitas, one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. Apparently no one told Namath the Jets couldn't win. Three days before the game, Namath guaranteed victory.

    The seven-minute video above tells the story better than I ever could, so please enjoy this iconic part of sports history. It was the greatest and boldest guarantee in the history of the NFL.


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