Last week Kent
Desormeaux (above), Sweetnorthernsaint's jockey, issued a proclamation before
the Preakness: "I guarantee I won't be worse than second." Desormeaux
made good on his promise, placing 5 1/4 lengths behind winner Bernardini (page
40). It wasn't the boldest prediction ever, but Desormeaux was smart to allow
some wiggle room. Guaranteeing victory isn't always a wise move. Consider:
With Detroit up 2-1 in its conference semifinal series with the Cavaliers, the
Pistons' forward declares that Game 4 in Cleveland will be "the last game
here in this building for this year. You all can quote me." Duly
challenged, the Cavs win two straight. The Pistons eventually win in seven
games (page 36)--but without much help from Wallace (right), who turns his
ankle in Game 4 and struggles for the rest of the series.
In February the Thrashers' G.M. promises that the franchise will earn its first
playoff berth. "If you want to write guarantee, I have no problem with
that," he says. But despite a strong finish, Atlanta misses out. "There
was so much pressure," says Waddell. Now why would that be?
Before a showdown with the 9-0 Colts, the Bengals' wideout (left) backs into a
guarantee: "There's no need for me to guarantee a victory," he says,
cockily. And in a way he's right: Cincinnati loses 45-37.
2004 Tony Pe�a
The Royals' manager makes a bold--and bullheaded--prediction when, with K.C.'s
record at 7-15, he vows, "We are going to win the Central." When the
season ends, Kansas City is in last place, and Pe�a (right) resigned the
Before the Athens Olympics, the second-youngest player on the U.S. hoops team
says, "We're guaranteeing a gold medal. We're bringing it back." The
gold winds up in Argentina, while Anthony (left) and friends bring back little
more than snapshots of the Acropolis. The U.S. finished third.
The Hawks make like Ron Popeil and offer a money-back guarantee: If they don't
make the playoffs, season-ticket holders will get a $125 refund. The fans get
their money. Kruger is fired and was last seen selling Showtime rotisserie
grills. (O.K., not really, but he was fired.)
Feeling flush after his 1994 playoff guarantee against the Devils paid off, the
center (right) celebrates his return to the Rangers with another vow: "I'll
guarantee you we'll make the playoffs." Not quite--the Blueshirts finish in
10th place in the conference.