that you can see here in which he out-and-out predicted the Panthers were going to win the Super Bowl this season.
I absolutely love that, for several reasons. First of all, Pro Bowl center Kalil is stepping out on a limb here in a very public way, issuing a call not just to the fans to support the team but also a reminder to the veteran players about what they better be doing in training camp.
I've heard many Panthers over the years more or less predict that the team was going to win the Super Bowl. It's a common story in every NFL training camp every year. It's natural to be optimistic, just like it's natural for every Olympian to think a gold medal is in their grasp right about now. The games haven't started yet. In the NFL, no one has lost a game in at least six months.
So naturally optimistic players like a Jon Beason or a Thomas Davis or a Muhsin Muhammad are always going to think their teams can run the table.
But to put it in a full-page ad? To put text with it, going back nearly 20 years to when Panther fans first financed the stadium with PSLs?
Kalil took this to a whole different level. This was the NFL center's version of Joe Namath sitting by the pool guaranteeing a Super Bowl III win, or Muhammad Ali spouting poetry to predict in which round he was going to knock out his opponent.
Also, another reason I love it: Full-page ads cost a lot of money. The newspaper can always use ad revenue -- that pays the majority of the salaries around here, including mine. Thanks, Ryan! Come back anytime!
Do I think the Panthers will actually win the Super Bowl this year? Well, no. But I think they have a shot, if the defense gets up to the offense's level of play in 2011, to be really good. And really good always gives you a chance.
Bottom line: This is a no-lose for Kalil. OK, if the Panthers go 6-10 again, he'll be very publicly wrong. But no one's going to say it was a "Kalil Jinx" that did the Panthers in.
And if he happens to nail it?
He'll be legendary.