On January 31, 2009, at the risk of antagonizing diehard fans unfazed by 43 years of failure, I predicted that the New Orleans Saints would never be in the Superbowl. A year later, I was proved completely, utterly, fantastically, and gloriously wrong — and reveled in my error!
To be honest, my prognosticatory skills have never been impressive. Jeane Dixon, I’m not. Of course, if I made as many predictions as she did in her lifetime, I might be right once in a while.
Nevertheless, knowing that my predictions almost never come true — and, in fact, might best be described as self-unfulfilling prophecies — I felt certain when making my forecast that it was the single most constructive thing I could do to advance the fortunes of the team that had demoralized me for decades.
There are many things that contributed to the Saints’ long-awaited championship — a great coach, a great quarterback, a great team, long-suffering supporters, the karma of Katrina. Still, I think any objective observer would have to agree that the single most important factor was the spectacularly inaccurate prediction made by one of the world’s worst seers.
Did my prediction, assuming anyone ever saw it, enrage the team and spur them to excellence? Did the prediction itself have some magical power to achieve its opposite? I’d hazard a guess, but it’s bound to be wrong.
For all you seekers after the supernatural, do yourself a favor and don’t delve into this. It’s just too spooky. Relax, and marvel at the mystery.
I’d like to make it clear that I don’t expect any acknowledgment of, or gestures of appreciation for, my contribution to the Saints Superbowl championship this past year. (Nor have I gotten any.) After all, my father was “the forgotten man of pro football in New Orleans,” and I’m his son. Go ahead, forget me, too. See if I care.
Oh yes, one last thing: I predict that the Saints will not be in this year’s Superbowl.