Yes, friends, it's that time of year again when Flannery O'Connor picks the winner of the coveted Vince Lombardi trophy. As in the past, in making her prediction Flannery factors in many intangibles, some of which have nothing to do with the game on the field. Going against the odds-makers in Las Vegas and the prognosticators at ESPN, Flannery is going with the Baltimore Ravens. Why? Well, let's consider the name of the team. The Ravens are so named for a poem penned by Baltimore's most famous writer, Edgar Allan Poe. He was also one of Flannery's favorite authors and the one, it could be argued, who influenced her more than any other. Let us also consider the city the Ravens represent. Baltimore, indeed all of Maryland, was settled by Catholics and to this day is a stronghold of Catholicism in this country. After all, when Flannery was at St. Vincent's Academy preparing for confirmation, it wasn't the San Francisco
Catechism she was studying. When one looks at the lineups of the 49ers and the Ravens, the players on Baltimore's team could easily have stepped out of an O'Connor story. They are, in the words of O'Connor scholar Sarah Gordon, "strange, forbidding, and bizarre." Don't think so? Put yourself in the shoes of 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick as you look across the line of scrimmage at the icy glare of Ray Lewis, who would like nothing better than to rip your head off. Finally, the Ravens play a brand of football that is similar to O'Connor's writing style - gritty, tough, hard-edged, and close to the bone. In that respect the Ravens are a throw-back to the way football was played when Flannery was alive. They are more like the Bears and Packers of old than the razzle-dazzle teams of today. Given all these considerations, Flannery takes the Ravens by a field goal, 27-24.
This is just brilliant, Mark--a particular delight for Baltimore Catholic Literary Nerds who love the Ravens! (That would be me . . .)
Here's hoping Flannery's got it right!
Cheers & Thanks,
And I hope she hits this one right on the head. A win for San Francisco? "Nevermore."
Congratulations Angela and Tim! Flannery is considering taking up another occupation - bookie. She sure nailed the point spread on this one.
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