A little dishing on sports

I Guarantee That There Are Words in This Post

I promised my friend Rachel that if her beloved Jets win the Super Bowl, as she predicts, I will let her write a guest post on this site.  I peg the odds of that happening as slightly less than the odds of Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien forming a team to compete on The Amazing Race and slightly more than the odds of Nick Saban becoming a humble, honest person in the wake of his Alabama team’s national championship win last night. 

 Joe Namath, I should note, respectfully disagrees with Rachel.  It’s not personal, Rach.  In fact I have it on good authority that Broadway Joe still “really wants to kiss you right now.”    Actually, Joe is disagreeing with Rex Ryan, who guaranteed that the Jets would win the Super Bowl, something Joe would never, ever do.  It’s hard to disagree with Joe’s reasoning –  he argues they can’t win with a rookie QB.  There is at least one pundit who has reached that conclusion and many (at least inside my head) consider him to be brilliant. 


I think I know the real reason Joe Namath is speaking out, though.  Forty-one years ago, he insisted that the Jets would beat the heavily favored Colts in the Super Bowl – the most famous guarantee about a confrontation since Aaron Burr left his Hummer in 15 minute parking before his duel with Alexander Hamilton.  In Namath’s slightly more civilized era, victory guarantees weren’t made.  It was considered unseemly.  Namath didn’t care.  He made his guarantee to fire up his team.  He was saying that their opponent wasn’t invincible.  Namath’s guarantee mattered.  Now?  Every player makes a victory guarantee about every game. 

 Elias even keeps official stats on guarantees now.  Patrick Ewing is the career leader with 323 guarantees, 256 were incorrect, while Chad Ochocinco holds the single season record with 77, 75 incorrect, 67 about teams other than the Bengals.  Ochocinco’s shenanigans notwithstanding, Patrick Ewing is the greatest Meaningless Victory Guarantor (MVG) of all time.  He didn’t just fail, he failed with a flair, like the 1997 Eastern Conference Semifinals when rather than simply guarantee victory as mere mortals might, he said, “See you in Chicago,” in reference to where the Knicks would have played game 1 of the Conference Finals, had they beaten the Miami Heat in game 7 of their playoff series, as Ewing predicted.  Alas, dear Patrick was wrong.  Ewing failed again memorably three years later, incorrectly predicting that the Knicks would defeat Indiana in their playoff series.  Instead, he lost his final game as a Knick, ignoring his guaranteed contract to bitch and moan his way out of New York in a trade that set the Knicks back five years.  Not satisfied with his failures on the court, Ewing even predicted, correctly this time, that the Orlando Magic on whose coaching staff he works, would defeat Boston in the deciding game of their playoff series.  Ewing scored zero points and had zero rebounds in the game, slightly bettering his performance in the 1994 Finals against the Rockets.  Now that’s an MVG!

Why do people continue to make guarantees of victory?  Because, besides ridicule from blogs no one reads, there are no repercussions for these failed predictions.  What we need are sentencing guidelines for people who make incorrect predictions.  I have some ideas.  We have to ratchet things up so some guy who gets caught up in the moment isn’t penalized like a Ewing, who should have had to surrender a kidney or something by now.  A modest proposal:

First time IVG (Incorrect Victory Guarantor) – You must hide and protect Gilbert Arenas’s guns for him like a young Vito Corleone.  For how long?  Until he asks for them back.

Second time IVG – A fine equal to 5 percent of your salary, plus Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry get to raid your fridge.

Third time IVG – You pay for Patrick Ewing to have a night out at the Gold Club and you have to watch everything he does.

Four time IVG on – forfeit a limb.

Now all we have to do is create an international sports body that would exercise jurisdiction over victory guarantees – something like the NCAA but less incompetent and corrupt.  Lou Holtz could be the first commissioner.  He’d be perfect because back when he coached, he would barely guarantee that his team would show up.  There’s no time to lose.  We want this group in place before Chad Ochocinco has a chance to speak today.  We’ll call it the  Keelhaul the Guarantor Bureau (KGB).  This will work.   I guarantee it!


4 Responses to “I Guarantee That There Are Words in This Post”

  1. 5.5 hours until kick off!

  2. I don’t think Rex guaranteed a superbowl victory as much as he said they should be favored to win, not just tonight but the tournament. I guess it could be taken as a guarantee but I don’t think being “favored” means you are guaranteed to win.. Anyway, fun post, and I GUARAN-DAMN-TEE the Jets will win today. No promises after that.

  3. Fair point, Gary. Just be advised that you will be held to your guarantee, so get that hiding place ready for Gilbert Arenas’s guns if things don’t go your way today. Good luck, though!

  4. One down! I think I will start my outline.

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