Now and again, especially this time of year, our prognosticators and sayers of sooth gather to make some New Year predictions. Our accuracy rate has never been measured; our entertainment value has never been questioned. That being said, any money you lose betting on any of these predictions to actually happen is yours and yours alone. All disclaimers aside, let’s get back to the future!
January: College football playoffs are set, and the two undefeated teams (Georgia and Michigan) will face the two one-loss teams (Ohio State and TCU). While Midwesterners are already drooling over a potential Ohio State-Michigan rematch for the National Championship, that’s as likely as getting a hot buttered rum at a local tiki bar. Unless the world starts spinning backward on its axis, look for the Georgia Bulldogs to repeat.
February: I can guarantee that this year’s Super Bowl will not feature the Bears vs. the Texans. While the Eagles and the 49ers have already clinched playoff spots in the NFC, the AFC is wide open at this point. The Miami Dolphins could still make the playoffs. So could a whole bunch of other teams, some with pretty horrible records. But you’re not looking for analysis — you want a prediction. Here it is: AFC Championship Game: Buffalo 38, Kansas City 28. NFC Championship Game: Philadelphia 41, San Francisco 17. Super Bowl LVII: Philadelphia 24, Buffalo 21 (as the Bills’ placekicker misses the game-tying field goal wide right).
March: The Original Marathon Seafood Festival will break records as we celebrate the mass murder of shrimp, fish, clams and lobster. The stone crabs, however, will live to fight another day. Also, all those who bought vehicles in that new flat gray finish will wake up and realize that their cars are ugly as homemade sin.
April: The Florida Legislature, under pressure from homeowners, business interests and FIRM, will again do nothing to address the inequity of Citizens Insurance rates for Keys’ policyholders. (Bet you could see that one coming a mile off.)
May: Environmental activist attorney Richard Grosso may finally run out of money and/or appeals as he continues his quixotic quest to make Keys residents’ lives miserable. Sadly, it’s Keys residents and businesses who have shouldered the burden of paying for the wastewater and stormwater upgrades that have made a real difference in our nearshore water quality — not anything that Mr. Grosso has personally done.
June: Interest in the Boot Key drawbridge, stirred up by Travis Pastrana’s Gymkhana jump over the open span, hits a crescendo as news breaks of the discovery of a Calusa burial ground and the tribe’s plans to open a Calusa Casino and Golf Resort on the island.
July: Marathon Chamber CEO Daniel Samess spends days in advance of the BrewBQ personally killing and removing every no-see-um from Marathon Community Park. The heat signature from the BrewBQ event’s pits and smokers (as well as the hot music lineup) triggers alarms on climate satellites in orbit.
August: Everyone turns their attention to the tropics and makes Mike’s Weather Page (www.spaghettimodels.com) the most clicked-on website in the Keys.
September: See August.
October: See August. Also, the Miami Marlins will not make the World Series.
November: Keys residents falsely believe that a cold front will move through the islands soon, raising their hopes for fresher air that sadly won’t show up until January. Also, plans for the “new” new Seven Mile Bridge are revealed. Travis Pastrana begins lobbying local governments for permission to jump whatever space might open up between spans on the old new bridge or the “new” new bridge for his next video.
December: Presents In Paradise will take care of another 500 to 600 kids during the holidays, thanks to you! Also, Fred the Tree will have celebrated a newfound celebrity status upon release of the remake of “Road House” and will get the Oscar nomination for Best Supporting (Supported?) Actor.
– Catch John each Monday at Boondocks, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the Key Colony Inn, and Thursdays at Sparky’s Landing. Find his music anywhere you download or stream your music. www.johnbartus.com