Sometimes in adverse situations, emotions can make you utter irrational things and what Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson said in the post game press conference, after losing to Alabama could have been seen as such an utterance.
Watson put on a performance of a lifetime in the 2016 National Championship game. His precise passing and timely scrambles led to his championship game record of 478 total yards, and he did it against an uncharitable Alabama defense. After the game, he was asked could he put aside the loss and reflect on his performance.
Not at all, at the end of the day, I wanted the W(win). So, all the stats really doesn’t matter to me. I just wanted to get the win and do something that we haven’t done in 34 years. But at the end of the day, I love my teammates, love my brothers. And you’ll see us in Tampa next year.
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He called it. Even after losing the biggest game of his young career, Watson didn’t flinch and told everyone, “And you’ll see us in Tampa next year.”
In 1969, Joe Namath, an Alabama alum, gave a gutsy prediction, when he guaranteed that his New York Jets would beat the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in SuperBowl III. The Jets prevailed 16-7 and that moment became iconic.
Watson’s prediction isn’t brash like Namath’s but it is more arduous. Whereas Namath guaranteed a win in a game, Watson made a prediction that couldn’t be realized until about a year later. Plus injuries, NFL departures, and so much more could have affected his prediction.
But he is now only days away from bringing Clemson football a national championship and beating the alma mater of the man whose name will forever be synonymous with bold predictions.
Watson and his Clemson football teammates traveled to Tampa on Friday and will have a chance on Monday to avenge their 45-40 loss to Alabama.