This is about the time of year when Benny Terranova and his son Anthony can look forward to a little quiet vindication.
The two men, found almost always behind the butcher counter of their family store, Terranova's Supermarket in Faubourg St. John, work beneath a large, home-made wooden rendering of a New Orleans Saints helmet. And in replaceable wooden numbers, there for all the sausage-buying world to see, is their prediction for the season's record, which at the end of the pre-season this year they set at 9-7.
The board was a creation of the late Anthony Terranova Sr., Benny's father, who installed it in his family's grocery store in 2002. The younger Anthony Terranova, his grandson, remembers that they hit the Saints record precisely the first two seasons.
Word got around they there might be some kind of Who Dat oracle behind the butcher counter. But now store regulars frequently ride them for what they see at the beginning of the football season as pessimism. If the prediction is anything less than perfect, Superbowl-bound glory, which it always is, some customers doubt their sincerity as fans. But it's a matter of perspective.
"You have seasons where they start off with a bang, but by the bye week now a 9-7 record wouldn't look too bad, would it?" Benny said during the bye week and before last weekend's debacle in Atlanta.
No, as things stand right now for the Saints, at 4-5 and some very tough divisional games ahead, no, that wouldn't look too bad at all.
-- Ian McNulty