Over three years ago, Ryan Kalil decided to make a bold statement saying that the Carolina Panthers would win Super Bowl XLVII. He didn't just say this in passing but took out a full newspaper ad in the Charlotte Observer and put the promise in print.
That season obviously didn't go as Kalil promised as the Panthers finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs. It was equally tough on Kalil who only played in five games and suffered an ankle injury that forced him onto the injured reserve.
This Super Bowl promise is not something that many have forgotten and during Opening Night was asked about the newspaper ad. He said:
“I’m somebody who firmly believes that no one should define you, but you. And Coach Rivera’s done an incredible job and front office did an incredible job putting together this football team and it’s something that’s been in the works for quite some time now. That particular season I took that ad out, you know a lot of people said we wouldn’t win more than three games and I didn’t believe that. And I don’t have a problem with people having that opinion. But the problem I had was I felt a lot of our teammates were buying into that. So a lot of football teams every year, every training camp, they get together, they talk about listen, we’re gonna win the Super Bowl. This is the year we’re gonna win the Super Bowl. Now how many teams really believe that? That’s the difference. So that was a team then, and I still believe now, I felt was very capable making a run at it. So I put something out there for my teammates just to make sure that they believed in it and had my back. So this season I think is not a fluke. It’s been in the works for quite some time now and couldn’t be more excited.”
The Panthers' center is one of the longest tenured players on the roster. He has been a part of the organization since he was drafted in the second round by the Panthers in the 2007 NFL Draft. Over his career, he has been selected to the Pro Bowl five times and has developed into one of the top centers in this league.
There is one blemish on his record though: the newspaper ad. He will have a chance Sunday to fulfill that guarantee, albeit a few years late, when he plays in the Super Bowl for the first time in his career on Sunday.
Click here to read the full newspaper ad.