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home : columns : rahn larson
February 25, 2018

12/28/2017 8:05:00 AM
The 2018 Fearless Forecast
My search for the Fearless Forecaster took me to one of the most surprising sites in my 29-year history of covering the Forecast - Lambeau Field.
There, lounging on a lawn chair, surrounded by snow at the 50-yard-line was the one and only Fearless Forecaster. The strangely absent white trench coat threw me for a second, but there could be no doubt it was him.
The Danny Devito look-alike wore a green-and-gold parka and was puffing on a big cigar, as usual. He leaned back, hands locked behind a black fur-lined mad bomber hat. As I approached, Forecaster growled, "Well, I was having a great day."
I shook my head and raised my palms to the sky, "What? Did you think I wouldn't find you?"
"Well, let's just say my prayers were not answered," he shot back.
Of course, the Forecaster did not need to hide this time, not after a decent 2017 forecast. He finished 5-5, a mark that has gamblers fairly happy with him.
Speaking of Forecaster's 2017 picks, here's a quick review.
In 2017, Forecaster missed on these picks: A wall would be built along the Minnesota-Wisconsin border to keep Packer fans out; County commissioners approve local option sales tax; Lawmakers seek ballot question calling for state legislators to shave their heads if they adjourn before approving budget or bonding bills; NBC's "This is Us" wins an Emmy for best drama series; The Wild reach the conference finals.
Forecaster hit the mark on these predictions: Fake news continues to fool millions of Americans; Windom city council sees at least 25 split votes; Vikings part ways with Adrian Peterson; Saturday Night Live sees large increase in ratings thanks to Donald Trump.
The 2018 Forecast
OK, before we get on with the forecast, I must add this disclaimer: "Fearless Forecaster cannot be held responsible for money won or lost based on wagers involving the annual Fearless Forecast."
Here is the 2018 forecast:
• Now that it is meeting its goal of bringing in a new hotel, the Windom Economic Development Authority will push to add a second grocery store.
• The Minnesota Twins will win more than 90 games.
• Windom's city council will add "Frazier the New Vision Crane" to the city logo. Frazier arrived last winter to tear down half the grain elevator. Who knew he would become a permanent part of our city's skyline?
• The University of Minnesota Gopher basketball team will finish second in the Big 10.
• In January, Windom Police Chief Scott Peterson will announce in the Citizen: "To simplify the weekly police report, readers shall assume all car accidents occurred in the Hy-Vee parking lot, unless otherwise noted."
• Farmers will see a major uptick in corn and soybean yields.
• The Iowa Hawkeyes will refuse to put South Dakota State University on its men's basketball schedule. (The Jackrabbits have won two straight over Iowa, beating the Hawkeyes 80-72 in November and 79-69, in Iowa City, a few years ago.)
• A Hallmark Christmas movie will send millions of fans into a tizzy as the film closes in festive Holly Town Park with the perky Christmas Pageant director dumping her boyfriend, the handsome widowed store owner. She hooks up with a mean, snotty, billionaire who hates Christmas.
• Either President Trump will admit he was wrong about something, or Democrat leaders will offer Trump a glowing compliment for doing something right.
At that moment, I reached into my pocket and threw a red "challenge flag" onto the field.
"You have got to be kidding," I said. "You cannot use an 'either/or' statement as a prediction."
Forecaster rolled his eyes and replied, "First, this is my forecast, I can do what I want. Secondly, both of those are extreme longshots. After all, I'm suggesting Trump and Democrat leadership will become reasonable."
I shrugged and nodded. He had me there.
"OK, Forecaster," I said. "Our readers know there is always a connection between where you are found and your final prediction. What brings me to Lambeau in the dead of winter? How did you get past security, anyway?
Forecaster grinned like a young boy caught with a box of cookies from his Mom's freezer.
"Turns out the Lambeau security people love Cuban cigars," he said with a chuckle.
A guy in a Domino's Pizza coat arrived at midfield with a TV tray, pizza and beverages. Forecaster handed him a $50 adding, "Please have them put 'Die Hard' on the jumbotron. It's a classic."
"Forecaster!" I shouted. "Come on! Tell me why a Viking fan is here wearing green and gold.
Forecaster put his index finger in front of his mouth and whispered, "Shhhh. They think I'm a Packer fan. It's part of the deal.
"Obviously the Vikings owned the Packers in 2017. The Vikes were clearly the better team. Give the Pack credit though, Saturday's horrible turf was no accident. They set it up so no one could get footing- no footing, no scoring. Their only hope, without Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, was to steal it at the end.
"Anyway, here is how the 2018 season plays out. Quarterback Case Keenum will return, as will running back Dalvin Cook, leading to an even better Viking offensive output. The defense will again be superb, of course. This will be the greatest Viking team since the Purple People Eaters.
"Late in the season, the Vikings will beat Green Bay to clinch the division title. This time, the Pack won't be able to use Rodgers' injury as an excuse."

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