Thomas Hearns announced last week that he's planning a return to the ring. Never mind that he's 46 and hasn't fought in five years--the Hit Man has a plan: He's going to try extra, extra hard. "I'm going to have to give 120 or 130 percent to be successful," he said. He'll join these other athletes for whom 100 percent wasn't an option.
The pledge: After the Royals demoted him to Triple A in April, Calvin Pickering vowed, "I'm going to give 110 percent. If it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out." The result: It hasn't worked out. The first baseman is still in the minors.
The pledge: Before his bout with Angel Manfredy last year, welterweight Craig Weber said, "I'll try my hardest and give 115 percent." The result: Weber won a tight unanimous decision. Perhaps 120 percent would have yielded a KO.
The pledge: After the Indians renewed his contract for 2002, then Indians manager Charlie Manuel said, "I'll give them 140 percent. If that's not enough, that's O.K." The result: Not enough, O.K.? Manuel was axed after a 39-48 start.
The pledge: QB Adrian McPherson, after being drafted by the Saints in the fifth round in '05: "I owe it to this organization to give them 150 percent." The result: Despite his very checkered past, he's likely to stick as a backup.
The pledge: Before facing Jennifer Capriati in the 2004 U.S. Open, Serena Williams said, "I love New York. I really want to give 200 percent here." The result: Like everything else, victories cost more in N.Y.C. Williams lost in three sets.
The pledge: Before her showdown with Kim Clijsters at the '04 Australian Open, Anastasia Myskina said, "Against Kim you have to do your best. Not 100 percent. I have to give 300 percent." The result: Clijsters in straight sets.
The pledge: Lobbying for a spot on the Ryder Cup team in '04, Jerry Kelly said, "Head-to-head against somebody, I'm going to give 1,000 percent. Forget 110 percent." The result: Unknown. Captain Hal Sutton left him off the team.
The pledge: Heading into last month's Subway Series, Carlos Beltran, who had a bad quadriceps, said, "I feel like I'm 90 percent." The result: Sometimes less is more. The Mets' centerfielder had a homer and two highlight-reel catches.
KIRBY LEE/WIREIMAGE.COM (PICKERING)
TOM E. PUSKAR/ASHLAND TIMES-GAZETTE (WEBER)
NICK WASS/AP (MANUEL)
MICHAEL HERBERT/WIREIMAGE.COM (MCPHERSON)
DAVID CALLOW (WILLIAMS)
RON C. ANGLE/BEIMAGES SPORTS (MYSKINA)
ROBERT BECK (KELLY)
CHUCK RYDLEWSKI/ICON SMI (BELTRAN)