Athletes Who Don't Pay Their Bets
We've all been there: You're absolutely positive your favorite team is going to win, but your buddy is convinced of the opposite, so you bet your eyebrows or your salary or your children on a victory, certain you'll get the last laugh.
Three hours later, when things have somehow taken a drastic turn for the worse and the bad guys have come out on top, you're left asking yourself that one, painful question: Do I actually pay up?
Far too often, the answer is "Hell, no."
Losing a bet brings out the worst in us. It makes geniuses look like idiots. It turns bad-asses into cowards. It reveals the sad truth that most people on earth are really sore losers.
Professional athletes are no different. Always bubbling with confidence, sports stars are never afraid to make obscene bets with their opponents or their Twitter followers, but usually end up backing down as soon as it's time to pay up.
Today, these athletes, the sorest of sore losers, will be called out with the Internet as a witness.
Go right ahead and renege on every little bet you've ever made. You can't hide from me.
Honorable Mention: Governor Martin O'Malley
Well, he isn't really an athlete, and he didn't technically renege on his bet, so I can't justify Maryland governor Martin O'Malley a legitimate place on this list.
However, we'll give him a little nod to recognize his very creative method of paying up on his bet with Indiana governor Mitch Daniels over a Colts vs. Ravens playoff game in 2010.
The bet was simple: Colts win, and O'Malley would send over some crab cakes. Ravens win, and Daniels would provide pie and shrimp cocktails. In addition, per The Huffington Post, the "losing governor would have to fly the flag of the opposing team on his car."
When the Colts won easily, O'Malley immediately sent over the crab cakes. But he didn't exactly follow through with the flag: Instead of an Indianapolis Colts flag on his car, the Maryland governor decided to sport a Baltimore Colts flag, paying a little homage to his own state, which was the Colts' original home.
You have to love a man who knows how to exploit a technicality. I'll bet he's a great politician.
What he bet: A week of wearing a 49ers jersey
Let the lesson be learned: Don't put your money on the table with Boyz II Men sitting across from you.
Before the Green Bay Packers' game against the San Francisco 49ers at the beginning of the 2012 season, Rodgers put his unbridled confidence on display when he made a bet with Nathan Morris of Boyz II Men as the group was getting ready to sing the national anthem.
According to Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports, Morris and Rodgers agreed that if the Packers lost, the star QB would have to wear a 49ers jersey for the rest of the week.
This leaves me with a couple questions:
1. If the Packers won, would Boyz II Men have to wear their rivals' jersey for the rest of the week?
2. Who is Boyz II Men's biggest rival, and what does their jersey look like?
3. Come to think of it, why would Boyz II Men have a rival, and if they did, why on earth would their rivals wear jerseys?
Well, the Packers lost and Rodgers backed down, saying the whole thing was just a joke.
Next time you want to mess with Boyz II Men, you'd best consider the consequences first.
What he bet: An eyebrow
The eyebrow is the most important part of a man's body.
Without one, he becomes incomplete and asymmetrical. Without both, he becomes an alien.
Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson decided to bet a single eyebrow before the anticipated matchup between the Seahawks and the 49ers in Week 2 last season. Before they even played the game, Wilson must have realized the intense magnitude of losing an eyebrow and sort of backed out for both of them.
Per Curtis Crabtree of NBC Sports, Wilson said, "It was more of just a friendly, joking around type deal. It’s not real serious. We’ll probably do something digitally. Something like that."
His eyebrows stayed completely intact, giving him the necessary strength to propel his team to yet another strong run in the playoffs.
What he bet: $1
Too often in my life, I'll be making a quick pit stop at McDonald's with some friends, only to realize that I don't in fact have enough cash for that McChicken and need to borrow a dollar bill.
"One day," I tell myself, "I'll be rich and famous, and I'll have enough dollar bills to buy McChickens for everyone."
Apparently, it doesn't quite work out this way.
During a practice round at the Masters this past spring, Phil Mickelson made a bet with a fan who said Mickelson "couldn't get up and down from off the green, even put up a dollar on it," on the par-three sixth hole as reported by Kyle Porter of CBSSports.com (h/t Goergs of It's Always Sunny in Detroit).
Unfortunately, when Mickelson lost, he didn't actually have a dollar with him to pay up on his own bet, and was forced to borrow a bill from his caddie.
To any of my friends who are reading this, fear not: When I'm rich and famous, I'll buy you those McChickens with my own money, not my caddie's.
What he bet: $300,000
Floyd "Money" Mayweather, the richest athlete in the world, is certainly not short on cash.
That didn't stop him from backing out on a $300,000 bet on the Johnny Manziel-led Texas A&M Aggies to beat the Arkansas Razorbacks last fall.
Actually, after announcing that he planned on making the massive bet, Mayweather decided to renege before the game was even played.
According to Nick Creegan of FOX Sports, the odds on the game changed from -3 to -14 in favor of A&M, and Mayweather, who claimed his initial gamble was "too dangerous," switched his bet from $300,000 on the entire game to $30,000 on the second half.
If I ever earn $100 million in a single calendar year, remind me to never refer to any wager as "too dangerous."
What he bet: His life
Shaving an eyebrow is embarrassing.
Losing $300,000 can be financially devastating.
Both of these, however, are recoverable. Ryan Braun's bet was not.
In 2012, the superstar Milwaukee Brewers outfielder gave a now infamous press conference in which he proclaimed the innocence to the world, promising that he had never intentionally or accidentally taken any performance enhancing drugs in his entire life.
At one point in his speech, as reported by CBS Chicago, Braun stated, "I would bet my life that this substance never entered my body at any point."
Well, turns out it had, and it wasn't really an accident. But Braun is still alive, and I think we can safely assume he's not going to follow through on his little wager.
Hey Ryan, next time you make a bet that you know for a fact you can't win, you might want to try lowering the stakes a little.
What he bet: $20,000 in KD gear
Never underestimate rapper The Game's long range shooting ability. It could end up costing you.
Reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant learned that the hard way.
Durant bet The Game $20,000 worth of KD basketball gear, to be donated to the rapper's AAU team, that he couldn't hit an NBA-length three-pointer.
The Game swished the shot, which was documented on Instagram, as shown above.
Durant, however, quickly backtracked on his original promise, claiming that he agreed to give some KD gear, but he never said anything about dropping $20,000.
The Game lashed out at Durant on Instagram, calling him a sore loser, among other things.
Which loss do you think he took harder—his stupid bet or his team's early exit in this year's playoffs?
What he bet: A year's salary
Remember a few slides ago when I mentioned Ryan Braun betting his life on his own innocence?
Well, he wasn’t the only star athlete who put a lot on the line to stand up for the cheating outfielder.
That’s two swings and two big misses for the former MVP.
In case you were wondering, no, Rodgers did not turn over his $4.5 million salary or his $35 million signing bonus to the unknown man from the Internet.
Nevertheless, Rodgers might be wise to stay far, far away from Vegas for the rest of his career.
What he bet: His dignity
Losing a bet always has its consequences, whether they be in the form of money or public humiliation.
Australian Olympic shooter Russell Mark’s failed bet, however, didn’t just have consequences for Mark himself. It had consequences for the entire world.
Before an Australian Football League match between Carlton and St. Kildna, Mark pledged to attend the opening ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics wearing a mankini a la Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat.
Let me be clear: The embarrassment that Mark would have faced is nothing compared to the torture that the rest of the world would have to experience by watching a stocky old man lead his team on the march in a skimpy bright mankini.
Fortunately for planet earth, Mark was discouraged by the Olympic committee, which cited his old age and the cold weather of London as reasons that he should stick with the traditional uniform.
Yeah, the weather. We’re just worried about the weather, Russel. That’s definitely the reason.
Roddy White...At First
What he bet: Season tickets
Atlanta Falcons star wide receiver Roddy White fell trap to the old “bet a fan something unreasonable even though you can’t win anything in return” trick, and when he lost, he almost followed in the shameful footsteps of Aaron Rodgers.
White bet a Twitter follower Falcons season tickets that Duke would beat Mercer in the first round. At the time, it didn’t seem like White had much to worry about.
Now, of course, we all know how well that turned out.
Let’s follow this saga from the beginning.
White picks Duke to win the whole shebang. @DHoyt77 sends a message into cyberspace telling White that Duke won’t even get past Mercer in the first round. To his surprise, White responds with conditions for a bet:
@DHoyt77 if mercer beat duke I will give you season tickets 50 yard line first row— Roddy White (@roddywhiteTV) March 18, 2014
Mercer wins. Oops. White tries to backtrack.
I lost a bet and I will give him tickets to the bears game since he is a bears fan done with this bet— Roddy White (@roddywhiteTV) March 21, 2014
…Then tries to defend his backtracking.
Y'all people are crazy on twitter you want me to man up and pay a bet to a person that had nothing to lose in the bet #soundsridicules— Roddy White (@roddywhiteTV) March 23, 2014
Ugh. Another coward. Another sore loser. Another man with all the confidence in the world when he’s right, but no admittance of defeat when he’s wrong.
@DHoyt77 2 season tickets, 2 SB tix, pregame sideline passes to game and a day at camp as my guest. How does that sound— Roddy White (@roddywhiteTV) March 27, 2014
BOOM. Just like that, White rises from the ashes and proves to the world that Twitter is a place where real men speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Thank you, Roddy White. You’re a role model for all the other idiots who make expensive bets with strangers via social media.
Making the Internet a better place, one tweet at a time.
Want to make a bet? Let me know on Twitter: @matthaup.