NEW ORLEANS — I knew it was out there somewhere, hiding along the Mississippi River’s banks or lurking just off the Mardi Gras parade route. There simply had to be some unique perspective on Baltimore and San Francisco’s little get together on Sunday in the Superdome.
But with the hype-machine now steaming full bore into its second week, the search for an uncorrupted football soul on the streets of the Super Bowl city was beginning to feel like Sisyphus trying to roll the ever-expanding legend of Ray Lewis up an endless hill.
I tried one of the voodoo joints that dot the side streets of the French Quarter like pizza parlors in other neighborhoods, but was told the “priest” was booked solid all afternoon. I have a feeling I’m not the only one exploring this avenue.
So I made my way over to Jackson Square where if nothing else I would get a beignet at Café du Mond and listen to some street musicians while I figured all this out.
And there she was, sitting at her card table amid the starving artists and sidewalk preachers, quietly singing Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September” amid the early-week chaos.
Kelleigh, pronounced Kelly, may wear silver rings with things like skulls on them, possess a whole bunch of crystals and sport some impressive tattoos, but she is a football fan. Born in South Dakota, raised in South Florida and dispensing fortunes in the Big Easy for nearly three decades, she loves the Saints.
She proceeds to show me a small sign announcing free readings for Paul Tagliabue, should the righter of Roger Goodell’s wrongs find himself knee deep in the fray later this week.
Still, I think she’ll do. Her dad took her to some Dolphins games when she was a child, but other than that she’s pure of heart.
As a warm up to her prediction, sort of calisthenics for mystics, she reads my cards, a first for this non-believer. As she asks me to shuffle her well-worn tarot deck, I’m reminded that I’ve forgotten hand sanitizer.
Right off the bat she starts talking about my primary card being the Queen of Wands, a suit I’m unfamiliar with.
“What I’m getting is cynicism,” she declares. “A lot of cynicism that comes from your job.”
At this point I’m starting to believe she may have the gift, and I’m feeling better about her ability to identify the world champion.
She mumbles something about drunken frat boys always asking her if they’re going to get lucky as a group of revelers make their way past.
I honestly was having trouble following everything she was saying, what, with being a newcomer to all this supernatural terminology. But then she started talking about an occasion in the spring, maybe an anniversary, and that I might want to make a big deal out of it this year.
Memo to self: mail order flowers aren’t going to cut it on June 3.
At some point she either notices my eyes have glazed over or decides I’m too far gone to help, and we move onto the big game, asking me to start pulling some cards from the deck.
“The hanged man represents impatience,” she noted. “But the hanged man also says you will find what you seek, it’s just not likely to happen as quickly as you want. There might be some overtime involved.”
So no Super Bowl’s ever gone to overtime. She’s on a roll now and I’m not stopping her.
Again, there are points where she might as well be speaking another language. The Five of Cups is a card of disappointment and frustration, she notes. Someone has to lose, I think to myself.
Then she starts talking about the Empress card and it being the care-taking and nurturing archetype, and the I-95 corridor, and suddenly the stars must have aligned on her small table.
“Baltimore,” she blurted out.
Now, I can’t say exactly how she came up with that. But I do know it had nothing to do with anything a talking head on the NFL Network said, and that’s good enough for me.
And then I learned that psychics don’t give receipts, a discussion I’ll undoubtedly have with the bean counters upon my return.
Article courtesy Daily Record