I love traditions.
As some of you know, among our family’s traditions, my very favorite is
Way back in 1992, our pal, Ellie, came up with the idea of a prognostication competition in which we would predict the outcome of a series of events during the year and whoever had the highest number of correct predictions at the end of the year would be declared the winner.
As you can see on this very low-tech scoresheet, that first year we predicted only 4 categories: Super Bowl, World Series, Presidential election (ironically, the other “Clinton” was running that year) and the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Every year since 1992, Ellie and her husband, Archie, Peter and I, and our two children have made predictions and kept score. Along the way, our children have gotten married and their spouses joined in on the competition.
Like all good traditions, this one needed a name. Ellie, creating a mash-up of our surnames, coined the moniker “McLuxies”.
We even have hats.
For many years the winner got nothing more that a feeling of moral and intellectually superiority.
Now we have a trophy.
Please note the plaque on the front bearing our motto:
“Peritia, Fortuna, et Conjectura Temere”
Loosely translated: “Expertise, Luck, and Random Guesses”.
As we’ve gone along, our list of predictions has grown. We have permanently added:
- NCAA Football Champions
- NCAA Women’s and Men’s Basketball Champions
- Master’s Golf Tournament Winner
- Stanley Cup Champion
- NBA Champion
- Wimbledon Winner – Women’s and Men’s
- Best TV Drama
- Best TV Comedy
- World Series Winner
- People’s Sexiest Man Alive
- Time Person of the Year
Heavy on sports and pop culture; light on anything really meaningful.
Over the years, however, the McLuxies have been a way to chronicle important, historic or iconic events.
In addition to the list of permanent categories, we have made random guesses about things like:
- Gender of the Royal baby (more than once)
- The O.J. Simpson verdict
- The Clinton impeachment
- Will Microsoft be in one piece? (I guess that was something about a monopoly???)
- Major League Baseball teams to be eliminated
- Combined weight of our twin grandsons, Chip and Dale at their final doctor’s appointment of the year
- Dow Jones year ending number
- What college will Malia Obama choose?
- Number of Supreme Court vacancies at the end of the year
- Post-election party in control of the House of Representatives
- Married or not at the end of the year: Tom/Katie, Brad/Angelina, Britney/Kevin, Ben/Jen
- “Number of countries that will have indicated their intent to withdraw the Euro as their official currency by year-end” (Nerd alert… Although you probably thought that the nerd ship sailed with the “number of Supreme Court vacancies” or “post-election party in control” questions.)
In Olympic, election and World Cup soccer years those are added to the list.
In 2012 we predicted whether the Mayan calendar was right or wrong.
“Will the world come to an end this year?” Spoiler alert: the correct prediction was “no”.
The 2016 McLuxies have some interesting aspects to them.
For years and years and years, we have had what we call “The Cubs Clause”.
The Cubs Clause states that if a person picks the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series and they actually do, that person automatically wins the McLuxies championship for the year. Game, set, match.
The Cubs Clause was created so that sentimental schmucks like me wouldn’t feel so bad about throwing away a point predicting a Cubs victory year after year after year.
Well, you might know that this year the curse has ended – the goat is gone – the Cubs are in the World Series.
We still have a long way to go but if by some wild chance, the Cubs pull this off and actually WIN the World Series, The Cubs Clause will kick in.
And, the six of us who predicted a Cubs victory will share the McLuxies trophy.
Given that all predictions are locked in place during the first week of January, it’s quite remarkable that Jerry foresaw the Trump vs Clinton presidential matchup.
The Time Person of the Year is generally close to impossible to predict. But, this year six of us have guessed that, if she is elected as the first woman President in U.S. History, Hillary Clinton should find herself on the cover of Time Magazine.
Keeping in mind that Time Person of the Year is someone who has had the biggest impact on society – good or bad (past recipients include Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin(twice), Ayatollah Khomeini and Vladimir Putin), other strong contenders would be Donald Trump (son-in-law Jerry’s prediction) or Julian Assange/WikiLeaks.
My first choice would be, of course, that the Cubs emerge victorious and Time Person(s) of the Year are Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon.
But what do I know? It’s all just a bunch of conjectura temere, right?
Each month we are given a prompt regarding some aspect of our life. The goal is, at the end of the year, to have twelve chapters in the book titled Who I Am.
This month, Chapter 10, the theme is Traditions.
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