National Football Conference Championship: Saints vs. Rams

Update: The NFC championship game is over and the Rams won. The two things about this reading that were accurate were that the decision did come down to the final seconds, and the Rams did reassert themselves at the 11th hour by forcing a sudden-death overtime. Interestingly, my prediction for the Chiefs-Patriots game hints that there may be a sudden-death overtime in that game. It could be a case of “right church, wrong pew” in the NFC game.

Original Post:

Completing the competitive scenario for the American football playoff series, I performed a reading for today’s match-up between the favored New Orleans Saints and the underdog Los Angeles Rams in the NFC championship game, again using my “Enemy At The Gates” head-to-head confrontation spread with the Golden Universal RWS and Radiant RWS decks. The Saints, as the home team and the pick to win by 3 points, occupy the top row of the spread, and the Radiant RWS Chariot reprises as the “Opportunity Card” (Significator, symbolizing victory).

All images © U.S. Games Systems, Inc, Stamford, CT and Los Scarabeo, Torino, Italy

My first impression of this layout is that it’s “all Saints.” The “Strength” and “Weakness” cards for New Orleans suggest an infinity of patience; the team won’t get excited about anything until the fourth quarter, after confidently stepping up to the plate (make that “line of scrimmage”) big-time in the third quarter. The 9 of Disks is sitting pretty at the start of the game, and the Saints will quietly go about their business of keeping the Rams contained in the opening period. For their part, with the Tower reversed as their “Strength” card, the Rams will be beating their heads against the wall trying to crack the Saints’ defense. It doesn’t look good for them right from the get-go. Advantage: +1 to Saints, with a possible score of 10-to-0 in their favor.

The 3 of Wand reversed as the Saints’ “Weakness” card speaks to their historically inert performance early in a game. But the merchant in the image is adept at biding his time, looking for the right moment to act, so there is no real cause for alarm. The risk is that they might get caught flat-footed. However, the 4 of Pentacles reversed as the Rams’ “Weakness” card indicates that the visiting team is more likely to go flat, coming up with scant reward for their exertions of the first quarter. Advantage: +1 to Saints, although the cumulative score may not budge in this quarter. At most, the Saints could open it up by another field goal or touchdown, 10-0 or maybe 17-3.

In the “Edge” position, the Saints have the King of Swords, showing that they will take control in the third quarter, while the Rams with the 6 of Swords reversed might as well pack up and head for home early. If there is a chance for a blow-out in this game, it occurs here. Advantage: +1 to Saints, and the King could add another 14 points to their tally, while the Rams come up dry. Advantage: +1 to Saints, with a total score of 24-to-7, or at most 31-to-14.

The “Allies” card for the Saints is the 7 of Wands, implying that their coaching staff will mount a “rear guard” action, keeping the Rams from gaining any ground. I believe it’s called a “prevent” defense. The Rams, with the Devil in this slot, may still have a few tricks up their sleeves and shouldn’t be counted out yet. But it may simply be a case of “too little, too late.” Advantage: +1 to Saints by a whisker, but I’d keep my eye on that Devil.

The Hermit as the Saints’ “Chance to Win” card portrays the “last man standing” at the pinnacle of perfection. As the trump card associated with Virgo, it neatly book-ends the 9 of Pentacles, an expression of Venus in Virgo, at the beginning of the spread. Success for New Orleans looks like a foregone conclusion. The Rams can only muster Justice reversed, which means that they will merely receive their “just desserts.” No advantage is assessed for this intermediary step.

The “Decision Card” is the High Priestess reversed. This card gives me pause, since it is essentially Justice “on a higher arc” (11 = 1+1 = 2, number of the High Priestess). The implication is that the jury is still out, and the High Priestess knows the verdict but ain’t sayin’ yet. This game could very well go down to the final seconds before the outcome is clear, and this card could be the Rams’ “wild card” or “ace in the hole.” Elementally, this is a Water card and there are no other Water cards in the body of the reading so there is no strong affinity between it and either team’s series. It favors the earthy 9 of Pentacles and the Hermit for the Saints and the 4 of Pentacles and the Devil for the Rams, but it is definitely more comfortable with the former since the Devil would have a hard time winning her over to his side. She is fiercely antagonistic to the Rams’ Tower, less so to the Saints’ 3 of Wands and 7 of Wands. Advantage: On balance, I’m giving +2 to the Saints even though the Rams could make a bold 11th-hour attempt to reassert themselves in this contest. The final score shapes up to be a substantial win for the Saints, perhaps a 38-14 blow-out.

The internal scoring for this reading (not the score of the game) went 6-0 in favor of the New Orleans Saints, although I might back that off to 5-1 if the Rams show any real signs of life at the end. Still, the underdogs could struggle to reach double digits while the Saints open up a comfortable margin by the middle of the game.

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