Since the only scenarios in which the Saints could find themselves in the playoffs this season rely on a few mid-air collisions involving traveling NFC teams, Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers is mostly about pride and of course the attempt by Drew Brees to break the league's passing record.
But fans may find their own, personal reasons to cheer the team in this finale to a disappointing season. Personally, I'll be pulling for a Saints win mainly to vindicate Benny and Anthony Terranova of the superlative Terranova's Supermarket in Faubourg St. John.
The father and son team make and sell sausage beneath the big public prediction (pictured above) that they made for the Saints just before the start of the season: 9-7, which would be dead-on if the Saints pull off a win on Sunday.
The homemade wooden score board was a creation of the late Anthony Terranova Sr., Benny's father, who installed it in the 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. They were close a few other seasons, but 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 16-0, which it always is, some customers doubt their sincerity. Now, though, one game away from another bull's eye prediction, these guys are looking pretty astute.
- Ian McNulty