Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Anthony Smith made headlines Wednesday night when it was reported that he guaranteed his team would beat the undefeated New England Patriots in their upcoming matchup Sunday. Upon closer inspection, though, it turns out that headlines are the only thing Smith actually made.
While it's true that Smith did say--as reported by SI.com--"I can guarantee a win," he's got nothing on Broadway Joe (or, for that matter John Goodman, star of the only visual evidence to date that Babe Ruth ever "called his shot") in the ballsy-prognostication department, for he immediately went on to qualify his declaration with "as long as we come out and do what we got to do" and then all but retract it by saying "we've got a good chance to win."
Is this the paltry level to which smack-talk has descended in the world of professional sports? "I GUARANTEE that we will defeat our opponents...unless they score more points than we do"? It's heartbreaking.
One can take solace in the possibility that Smith was less interested in throwing down a genuine gauntlet than he was in garnering some publicity for himself. He certainly has a better chance to achieve the latter than the Steelers do to defeat the Patriots...something to keep in mind as we consider the words of New England safety Rodney Harrison, who--when told about the so-called "guarantee"--remarked, "Never heard of him."
UPDATE: Hey, whaddya know. Smith's prediction turned out to be somewhat less than accurate.