Is a guarantee worth it in sports?
It is tradition almost as old as sport itself, athletes guaranteeing wins and championships. From Joe Namath guaranteeing a victory in Superbowl III, to Mark Messier guaranteeing a win with the Rangers facing elimination.
These guarantees helped grow the legends of Messier and Namath. Much like Babe Ruth supposedly calling his home run many, many years before contributed to his legend and lore.
However, guaranteed wins are not always realized upon which brings us to the case of Graham DeLaet, who was one stroke off the lead heading into Sunday’s final round at Valspar Championship when he said “I’m going to go and win this golf tournament tomorrow.” Unfortunately, DeLaet did not go out and win the tournament, instead he went out and shot 4-over without recording a birdie, not the type of performance that is going to get it done on a Sunday in the PGA.
As a result of his failed promise, DeLaet was the butt of many jokes and subject to a lot of critical commentary.
You aren’t going to find a group of guys rooting harder for Delaet than the boys at HardNoSports. When it comes to a Sunday on the links there isn’t a whole lot Canada has to offer. Delaet is the exception. We all love Graham and wanted him to win. Just as important, he has an amazing beard. However, I think he deserved the criticism. If you are going to talk the talk, you need to walk the walk.
I think it’s a good sign DeLaet has the confidence to say something like this publically. It’s a step in the right direction. However, it might be best he keeps these thoughts to himself until he pulls of a win or two. The public backlash and questions he has to answer might not be worth it.
So my stance on this: I would prefer athletes just going out there and getting the job done. Leave the talking for after the game. However, on the flip side I could argue, people will quickly forget about Graham’s guarantee and in a few days. It will disappear into the Twitter abyss. After all, it was only the Valspar. But had he won it would have been remembered forever.
So, once again, I ask: Are guarantees worth it, in sports?
Random Stat: DeLaet has 19 top-10’s over the last 4 seasons without a win, second most among players without a win over that time, to Sergio (21), is anyone better at being really good, but not good enough than Sergio?