Tom Cruise smiling as he rides motorcycle in Top Gun: Maverick
youtube | Paramount Pictures

Man Honors Lost Bet To Eat A Shoe After Top Gun: Maverick Finally Came Out

After eating his words in a decade-old tweet that maintained there would never be a Top Gun 2, one man had to figure out how to go about eating a shoe after Top Gun: Maverick's release.

Since it's been 36 years since the release of the original Top Gun, it's hardly a surprise that the long-awaited effort to make the story's newest chapter would feel as nostalgic for Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer as watching it would be for the rest of us.

And while one of the planes the production created for this movie was apparently sophisticated enough to almost cause an international incident, it's just as much of a wonder that it was possible to make it in its current form at all.

That eventuality certainly came as an unpleasant surprise for one entertainment journalist who made a pretty risky wager against the sequel getting off the ground.

Back in 2010, late director Tony Scott confirmed that he was starting work on a Top Gun sequel.

Tom Cruise taking off from aircraft carrier in fighter jet in Top Gun: Maverick
youtube | Paramount Pictures

But when he told HitFix that original Top Gun producer Jerry Bruckheimer was already on board and that getting Tom Cruise to reprise his role was a possibility, one noted skeptic included Matt Patches, who is now a deputy entertainment editor for Polygon.

As Patches recently told Vanity Fair, "I just felt we weren’t mining IP as much back then. It’s hard to imagine a time before The Avengers, but in 2010, we didn’t realize what that machine would even become."

So in a knee-jerk tweet that would turn out to steer his life in a strange direction, Patches made a simple bet: "If Top Gun 2 happens, I will eat a shoe."

Matt Patches in aviator sunglasses holding up cake made to look like a shoe from Paramount Pictures
twitter | @misterpatches

And while he told Vanity Fair that he deleted the tweet years later, it didn't matter as enough people remembered it that they would hold Patches to his bet every time some news about Top Gun: Maverick came out.

And as we can see, even Paramount themselves got in on the action by sending him a cake creatively built to look like a shoe.

Once it was clear by 2018 that this movie would actually happen, Patches dreaded having to do "something very dumb" and regretted underestimating Tom Cruise.

Tom Cruise smiling as he rides motorcycle in Top Gun: Maverick
youtube | Paramount Pictures

As he put it, "It seemed impossible, but why would I doubt Tom Cruise? This was the biggest mistake, because Tom Cruise became more committed to doing stunts. I would totally underestimate him, because the incarnation of him where it’s like, 'I’m gonna attach myself to a plane and fly in the sky'—that didn’t exist yet. I made a grave error."

But since he didn't want the results of his bet to be lethal, Patches would have to get creative to honor it.

So as he demonstrated in a YouTube video, he made a cast of his foot and after deciding against using rawhide, he cobbled a shoe together out of fruit leather.

Matt Patches in aviator sunglasses holding up shoe made of fruit leather
youtube | Matt Patches

And just to ensure that this solution didn't come across as a cop-out, Patches actually walked around in the shoe outside until it started to fall apart.

Since there's a reason people don't tend to make shoes out of fruit, that didn't take long to happen. Nonetheless, it was now an authentic shoe and ready for him to eat.

And if any doubt lingered that he would actually eat it, here's the footage of him doing just that.

And while the results gave him quite the stomach ache, he survived without having to get his stomach pumped and plans to share the cake once he regains his appetite.

However, it seems Patches has only partially learned his lesson as he's skeptical that there will be a Top Gun 3. He's not making any bets about it this time, though.

h/t: Vanity Fair