Guarantees in Sports History

On Wednesday May 31st, after a huge 4-1 loss to the Penguins, P.K. Subban declared his team would win game 3. Maybe the iciest hot take of the year, it turned into reality Saturday night when P.K. and the boys destroyed Pittsburgh 5-1 in front of maybe the best crowd hockey has seen in a long time

That was quite exciting, and prompted us too look back at other times athletes predicted a win. Let’s find out the success rate of these predictions.

1965 Muhammad Ali

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Coming into his 1965 rematch with Sonny Liston, Ali spoke of a dream he had where he knocked out the boxer in the first round. “I’m not the greatest; I’m the double greatest. Not only do I knock ’em out, I pick the round,” Amazingly enough Ali ended up knocking out Sonny in the first 2 minutes of the fight.

1969 Joe Namath

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Joe Namath’s legacy began with an odd defying promise. He guaranteed that his Jets would defeat the heavily favorite Baltimore Colts in the 1969 Super Bowl. Joe then proceed to lead his team to a 16-7 win, coming through on his promise.

1994 Mark Messier

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Trailing the New Jersey Devils 3-2 in the best of 7 1994 Eastern Conference final, Messier guaranteed that his team would pull through and win game 6. With the Rangers down 2-0 late in the second period, Messier hooked up Alex Kovalev to bring his team within 1. Once the third period started things got real. Not only did the Rangers rally to come back and win the game, Messier scored all 3 goals. This was the turning point which led to the Rangers winning their first cup in 54 years.

2006 Rasheed Wallace

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In the 2006 NBA post season, Wallace guaranteed the Pistons would beat the Bucks in the first round. When that promise came through he then proceeded to guarantee his team would beat Cleveland in game 4 of the second round. This time Wallace wasn’t as lucky and the Pistons lost game four 74-72, prompting Wallace to stop with his predictions.

2007 Anthony Smith

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In week 14 of the 2007 season, Anthony Smith guaranteed his team would defeat the then undefeated New England Patriots. Pittsburgh ended up loosing that game 34-13 bringing much embarrassment to the defensive back.

2007 Carlos Zambrano

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Thinking he could beat the curse, Carlos guaranteed the Cubs would win the world series and he would take home the Cy Young. As we all know, it would take another 9 years to break the curse, and Zambrano’s prediction fell short.

Now I’m probably missing a few, but if we take this small sample size of win predictions, we find that the win percentage is pretty good. Counting Subban’s prediction, the athlete who’s made a guarantee of winning has hit that the prediction 62.5% of the time. Keep your eyes open gamblers!


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