Athletes have to mince words. You ask them if they think they're the best, or if their team is going to win it all, and they probably believe the answer is yes, but know they can't just say that. They know they'll get roasted in the media and by opposing fans and players, so they pussyfoot around. They rarely come out and guarantee a victory, at least not where everyone can hear it.
"Every team says it every year, whether it's publicly or not," Panthers pro bowl center Ryan Kalil told the Charlotte Observer "They say they're going to win the Super Bowl."
But sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and balls to the wall. Kalil paid for a full page ad in the sports section of today's Observer, an inspirational essay titled "Why the Carolina Panthers will win Super Bowl XLVII."
Kalil didn't tell any of his teammates before taking out the ad, and he's probably going to come in from mockery today. But fuck that noise. The Panthers and their fans deserve to be enthusiastic, after many years without even a whiff of optimism. They've finally got a quarterback, and they're putting the appropriate pieces around him, and if you can't go into a season mentally prepared to go all the way, what's the point of playing the game in the first place?
Also, newspapers are dying, and every little bit of ad space helps.
Panthers center Ryan Kalil: We'll win Super Bowl XLVII Panthers season will end with team hoisting Lombardi Trophy, center says [Charlotte Observer]