When players say they expect to win, there is not much you can do. What do you want someone to say? “We don’t think we can win this game, but we will try, they are just a much better team and we aren’t very good.”
So when players tell the media that they are going to go out and win a game against a certain team there is no problem with that, not at all. What there is a problem with is when players “guarantee” victories. Nowadays there are guarantees thrown around almost every week in sports, but there was a time when they met something. Like when Mark Messier guaranteed that the New York Rangers would win Game 6 in the 1994 Eastern Conference Championship against the New Jersey Devils and then Messier went out and scored a hat trick, sending the series to Game 7, which the Rangers won. But in today’s sports world guarantees are taken with a grain of salt and when someone wrongly predicts one, they are just laughed at for a few days, and when someone predicts one correctly, there is not much made of it. I guess you can say the “guarantee” has been tainted by many wrong predictions in games not considered “big.”
Take the Patriots last season. Almost every week someone on the opposition was guaranteeing a victory. Not saying that they believed they could win, but saying that they would win. Week in and week out it was the same thing and everyone kind of got used to it. But guaranteeing victories in regular season games is kind of silly and a little ridiculous.
So while the Giants prepare to face the Browns (1-3), over in Cleveland, the Brownies have begun to voice their opinion on the upcoming Monday Night Football match-up. Here are some quotes from the Browns from the Cleveland Plain Dealer blog by Mary Kay Cabot.
“We were embarrassed, especially it being on national television. We want the win most of all, but we have that chip on our shoulder and we’re looking for some payback. Last year, Cincinnati put us out of the playoffs and we took that to heart. We went at them hard and we’ve got to go at [the Giants] hard.” – WR Joshua Cribbs
“The Giants are playing great football right now. You could say they’re the best team in the league. They came out and played a great game and shocked us or something. For a preseason game, they did a lot. Defensively, they ran a lot of stunts. It was almost like a regular-season game.” – C Hank Fraley
“Everything that could go wrong for us that game went wrong. And everything [the Giants did], they did well. It gave the world a false sense of what we know we can do. This is a good opportunity to show the world that we’re definitely way better than what we put out there in preseason. It’s going to give us a little extra fire. We’ll be ready.” – LB Andra Davis
“They don’t take anything lightly. Preseason or not, they come out to win. It was a lesson for us, but the way we performed is not the way this team should be thought of [nationally]. I’d rather it happen in preseason than regular season, but we will come out with a little chip on our shoulder.” – CB Brandon McDonald
So the Browns haven’t guaranteed anything, which is a good thing for the city of Cleveland because I am not sure they will be too happy with the results of the game. But at least the Browns will come to play with the idea that they can win. I wouldn’t expect anything else.