SEEKONK, Mass. Trudy Gethner is a psychic with a history of making shocking predictions that come true. "I called the Red Sox' World Series win in 2004 and the Patriots' Super Bowl loss in 2008," she asserts, pointing to dated and notarized letters to back up her claim. "I am simply more attuned to the stars."
The ability to see into the future can be a burden as well as a blessing, however, as Gethner's "sixth sense" alerts her to imminent troubles based on signs and omens that are meaningless to others. "I notice that the squirrels have a heavier coat of fur this winter," she says, her eyes narrowing as if to better see the future, "and Cole Haan women's shoes are on sale for half price, which never happens."
The portents have become too numerous for her to maintain her customary professional reserve, which in the past has caused her to sit back and wait until clients appeared at her door. Now Gethner is reaching out, advising current and former clients not to make summer vacation plans, or even to buy green bananas for the foreseeable future. "We are near the end times," she says, as she folds up a special Inaugural Day four-color newspaper supplement heralding the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama and turns off her TV set. "The Arizona Cardinals are in the Super Bowl."
Cardinals fan and cult member, before de-programming
The Arizona Cardinals are the least successful franchise in NFL history, and have not won a championship since 1947, when Harry Truman was president. "If the Cardinals win, you're going to see the earth open up and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride out," says Prentice Williams, a member of Sons of John David Crow, a Cardinals' fan cult. "If the guy at Circuit City offers you the extended warranty on a TV set, don't take it."
John David Crow, Cardinals' running back of the '60's, with trademark sneer.
With the Cardinals' 32-25 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game today, the team is assured of its first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, barring an asteroid crashing into the earth, the imposition of martial law, or a plague of Floridian palmetto bugs in Tampa, the site of the game, according to Las Vegas oddsmakers. At the beginning of the season, Las Vegas rated the Cardinal's chances of advancing to the Super Bowl as slightly better than those of the junior varsity girls' volleyball team at Holy Name High School in New Bedford, Mass. "It just goes to show you what a few well-scouted draft picks and a little luck can do for a team," says Maury Green, an oddsmaker at Harold's Casino Off the Strip. "That, and a freaking miracle of Biblical proportions."