New Orleans – Father Peter P. Finney delivered the homily at the 8 a.m. Mass at St. Clement of Rome in Metairie, La., this morning, and here we note: Father Finney is the grandson of Peter Finney, the gentlemanly sports columnist of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, and Father Finney actually gave no homily at all. It’s a St. Clement tradition to do without one during its annual Oyster Festival, which is ongoing this weekend. (There was carnival paraphernalia all over the parking lot.)
Father Finney noted that today’s Oyster Festival session is set to commence at noon – “when the Saints kick off,” he said. Then he noted: “The Saints’ game will be shown on television.”
Our rather roundabout point being: Even when the Saints stink, they’re still the talk of the town. (Metairie is a suburb off Lake Pontchartrain, of which my hotel affords me a half-scenic view.)
I’m on record — if you have three minutes and 32 seconds, you can hear me say it to Bill Littlefield of NPR’s Only A Game — that the Falcons won’t go undefeated. (My quote: “I don’t think anybody really seriously believes the Falcons are going to go 16-0.”) But there’s CineSport proof of me picking the Falcons to reach the Super Bowl and, via the Internet and the print AJC, I’m also on record as predicting that they’ll sweep the Saints.
That belief probably won’t win me many friends among the Oyster Fest folks, but it is, for better or worse, how I feel. I don’t think a lousy defensive team can beat the Falcons, and the Saints are on course to be the lousiest defensive team ever. I believe the Falcons’ first loss will come two weeks hence, at Tampa three days after Thanksgiving. I do not believe it will happen today.
But I have, as we know, been wrong a time or two. Whatever occurs, I’ll be here to watch and comment, and I implore you to join me. And I thank you, as ever, in advance. (Oh, and if you missed it: Read the fine print on the seat card depicted above.)
By Mark Bradley