Betting on The Saints: Thoughts on 60 inch TVs, “Cryptkeeper” Tattoos, and Louisiana Rednecks
It’s a scary combination: a bet, a case of beer, Louisiana rednecks*… and the New Orleans Saints. It sounds like a sure enough formula for trouble for any day of the week. *First of all a disclaimer: “Redneck” is not an offensive term where I come from. The first time my laptop’s Spell Check flagged is as a “divisive term” I laughed out loud. In the Deep South we’re proud of our Redneck pedigree and take no offense at its use. It does denote a certain attitude. And sometimes a certain behavior. Many times a less than brilliant behavior.
Take the case of Wayne A. Spring. Last week he made an impulsive vow. (Impulsive vows have gotten people in lots of trouble all of the way back to Bible times.) Here was his vow: if the New Orleans Saints won their next game, he’d take his 60 inch screen TV out in the back yard and allow his Facebook friends to shoot it. That was a pretty brash statement… especially concerning a team that was 11-0 and playing the lowly Washington Redskins.
But he said it. I’m sure with four minutes to go in the game and the Redskins nursing a touchdown lead and needing only a chip shot field goal to ice the win, strange things began happening. The Redskins kicked pushed the field goal for a miss. The Saints scored, forcing overtime, and a Washington fumble and a Saints field goal ended the game. 12-0 for our Saints. And Wayne’s phone began ringing.
It wasn’t a pretty sight. All I can say is that Wayne Spring is a man of his word. He kept his end of the vow. Even said he’d be watching the Saints this week on a 13 inch black and white TV.
When I thought about betting on the Saints and betting, I recalled “Cryptkeeper” and wondered where he might be now. I know Cryptkeeper by his other nickname, “J.J.” Tattooed across J.J.’s forehead in large letters is “Cryptkeeper.” A year ago he showed up at our church needing help to get a bus ticket to Boston. We helped him and I had a chance to ask about his unusual tattoo.
“I got it when I lost a bet.”
“I was in jail and made a bet with another fellow that the Saints would beat the Chicago Bears and go to the Super Bowl.” He grinned as he pointed to his forehead. “They lost and I got this tattoo.”
“That was the bet?”
“Yep, the loser had to get ‘Cryptkeeper’ tattooed on his forehead.”
“They did it right in the jail?”
“Yep, it’s a real jailhouse tattoo. It’s a beaut, ain’t it?”
I couldn’t think of anything nice to say, so I just smiled, finally commenting, “Well, at least you’re a man of your word.” “Oh yeah. I made the bet and I lost, but I kept my word.”
Two stories. Two bets on the New Orleans Saints.
My advice: Don’t bet on/or against the Saints.
As they roll toward a possible undefeated season and that elusive Super Bowl, my money’s on our Louisiana team. I guess that’s all right. Just don’t bet your big screen on it (or for that matter, the skin on your forehead.)
This Sunday our Saints play the Falcons. Wayne A. Springer will be watching it on a little BW TV unless some of his redneck friends invite him over to see it on their plasma or flatscreen.
And J.J. (aka Cryptkeeper) who is now cooling his heels again in one of Louisiana’s prisons, will watch it in some cellblock TV room. I just hope he doesn’t make any kind of silly wager on the Saints. I’d bet you he will… I’m pretty sure of it.
He’s kind of like Wayne Springer down in Albany, La. Not exactly the sharpest ax in the woodpile.
Who dat say they gonna beat them Saints. Who dat.