John Bartus

I conjured up the New Year Prediction column I wrote for this very paper 10 years ago to see how accurate my predictions were … and the first prediction I made is amazing in that it is as true today as it was then. This is the actual 10-year-old prediction:

1) The Miami Dolphins will not win the Super Bowl, but will have the perfect opportunity for great seats at the game seeing as it’s being played IN THEIR OWN STADIUM. 

A decade later, and the prophecy is still so sadly true. Hard Rock Stadium hosts the Super Bowl, and the only way the Dolphins will get in is to buy tickets. What is it going to take to get an NFL championship contender back in South Florida? Will any of us be alive to see it? This is depressing. Let’s move on. Here was my second prediction for 2010:

2) Florida’s economy will get a shot in the arm (maybe the buttocks) from all the post-season football that the New Year will bring (the Orange Bowl, the Pro Bowl, the Super Bowl). Beer and potato chip sales will skyrocket nationwide, while local hot dog hawkers and stadium cleanup staff will enjoy working for their wages while watching all those professional athletes earn tens of thousands of dollars for each hour they play.

This one is still true for 2020. The stadium staff will slave for comparative peanuts while attitudinal athletes will earn HUGE bonuses. But it beats working for a stadium that will never host a Super Bowl. 

My third prediction referenced the genius of Jimmy Buffett in securing naming rights for what was then Landshark Stadium. I so missed the target on this prediction — during January 2010, Buffett’s contract expired and the Super Bowl was played in Sun Life Stadium.

My fourth prediction is one that I hope comes true again this year:

4) Some of the fans who visit South Florida for the ongoing postseason pigskin spectacular will venture into the Keys. Hopefully, they’ll have a good time and spend some money before they leave.

All I can add to that is that if you can afford tickets to the Super Bowl, the least you can do is come to the Keys and share the wealth. Our local charter fishermen, dive operators, restaurants and bars, resorts and vacation rentals and (ahem) musicians depend upon your support! We love you! (And your $$$.)

My fifth prediction from a decade ago dealt with the economy. While our national economy is far better than it was 10 years ago, we still have some local issues related to our cost of living and Irma recovery. It really doesn’t matter how well the nation is doing if one’s personal financial situation is in the crapper. I’m going to hold out hope — but not make any predictions — that things will get better in 2020.

As far as New Year predictions for 2020, here they are in a nutshell. 

1) There will be an election for everything from president to mosquito control (but no Marathon City Council election). While pundits will deliberate and pontificate and try to contain their uncertainty, I have no doubt about this prediction I will make concerning the 2020 election: By this time next year, we will all be so incredibly tired of debates and speeches, vicious negative campaign commercials, fake news and mendacious social media posts from Russian bots or clueless individuals. As Winston Churchill once said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

2) Here is another absolutely 100% accurate prediction: the Atlantic hurricane season will begin on June 1. We can only hope we are left alone for another year, and we can only pray that monsters like Dorian won’t make landfall anywhere. That’s it for my 2020 predictions.

Going back a decade, I predicted that I would ring in the New Year playing music at the Key Colony Inn. Ten years later, and it’s still true. I’d love to see you celebrating with us at the Inn, so make your reservations now! In any case, I hope that 2020 brings you good health, good spirits, a healthy bank account, love, and real friends.

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