My fellow Tri-parish natives – I have a gift I’d like to share with you all on this beautiful Easter week.
It’s a gift that I’ve sort of known for a while that I’ve had, but I’ve been a little bit embarrassed to bring to light.
The gift I have is a curse – the ability to jinx sporting teams, individual athletes and really just about anything in the world of sports.
The way it sort of works is simple.
If I say something or someone will play poorly, they prove me wrong and play well.
Likewise, if I say something or someone will play well and win something, they shove my expectations down my throat and fail – usually miserably.
Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look.
Let’s start with the most recent example – my beloved Tiger Woods.
Two weeks ago in this very column, I stood before you and proclaimed that my sporting hero’s best days were behind him and that he’d never be the same again.
I said that Tiger was beat up physically and that his emotional problems were too much to handle. I said that it was appearing more and more likely that Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships was safe.
How did Tiger Woods repay me for my prediction?
He won for the first time in 900-plus days this past week, making me look like a real chump.
Because of his dominant performance, Woods is now the favorite at the Masters this week.
So much for Tiger being done, eh, Gisclair?
Good call, sports guy. ‘Atta boy, know it all.
I wish this were an isolated incident. I truly would love if this lone instance of prediction failure was just a one-time thing.
Remember the 2009-10 NFL season?
I do – all too well.
During the entirety of that year, I proclaimed that the Saints were overrated and couldn’t win the Super Bowl because of their leaky defense.
Those were bold predictions at the time, as I was just a rookie here in Houma.
Saying such things could leave someone with two black eyes and missing teeth in no time around these parts.
How did my anti-Saints sentiment work out? No, I didn’t receive any bodily harm – luckily. But the team did get its ring. New Orleans did get its jubilation. I got my egg in the face.
Oh yeah, and that “terrible” defense won them both the NFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl.
I sure nailed that one. If, of course, by “nailed,” I mean failed miserably.
How about the 2011-12 season? Did my luck get better?
Over the course of this past NFL season, I first stated that Cam Newton would be a bust – a sure-fire lock to be one of the most disappointing No. 1 overall draft picks of all-time.
Newton, instead, became one of the best rookies in NFL history.
His ceiling is one of the highest in the NFL.
When the offseason was over and it was time to play games, I said the San Diego Chargers would win the Super Bowl.
They repaid me by missing the playoffs and being the biggest disappointment in the NFL.
To top it off, their entire franchise is basically in turmoil right now and the team is buried in the abyss of AFC mediocrity because their owner refuses to fire inept journeyman coach Norv Turner.
No excuses. I knew Turner was the team’s coach when I made my prediction. We’ll chalk that pick up as a fail-job of epic proportions.
Stick with the NFL, once midseason rolled around, I got on the San Francisco 49ers’ case. To be more specific, I went 12 rounds with the team’s quarterback Alex Smith. I said in writing that if Smith led the 49ers to a playoff win, I’d grow a mullet hairstyle and wear it with a Fu Manchu mustache.
Smith not only won a playoff game, but he became a hybrid Dan Marino and Michael Vick down the stretch of that game, throwing darts into tight windows and also sprinting for touchdowns on bootlegs.
When was the last time you saw a quarterback score a 30+-yard touchdown on a naked bootleg?
This is clearly the working of a hex, people.
There clearly is a higher power in place.
More locally, the curse remains just as potent.
I wrote a featured story less than a month ago about how the Nicholls State baseball team was finding ways to win, despite the early season struggles of ace pitcher Seth Webster.
Fresh off one of the best pitching seasons in recent memory, Webster was off to a slow start (by his lofty standards) in 2012.
He retaliated by firing two-straight complete game victories to immediately get back on track.
Webster’s a good kid – one of the coolest college students I’ve ever encountered. I’m truly happy he turned things around.
I’m not going to take credit for his accomplishments.
I’m just merely pointing out that it has more to do with voodoo sports writer magic than it does bullpen sessions or practice.
So with all of my instances of failure laid out for the world to see, I’m here to explain to the world my plans going forward.
I’m now going to flip this curse inside out and do a little reverse psychology.
It’s time to use this sooth saying to my advantage.
I’m going to make five predictions today – knowing full and well that by saying these things the opposite will happen.
1. The Cowboys will never win the Super Bowl ever again. Tony Romo will never win another playoff game.
2. There’s no way possible Tiger Woods can win 23 career Major Championships. Are you kidding me? That’s like impossible.
3. The Houston Rockets will beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the NBA Playoffs? That’s nonsense. There’s no way Chandler Parsons can lock down Kevin Durant for a full seven-game series.
4. Chipper Jones is old and gray. He will surely miss half the 2012 MLB season with a wide range of injuries. His team will crumble with him out of the lineup.
5. The LSU football team will lose to Alabama for 20-years straight. Book it.
Here goes, let’s see if I can single-handedly change the sporting world.
One failed prediction at a time.