Voodoo Expert Likes Rams' Vibes

But priestess Ava Kay Jones is trying to stay neutral, and she remains angry at the Saints for a tiff before a game with the Rams last month.

Football and faith long have mingled. Players point to the heavens after scoring touchdowns and after games drop to their knees in prayer.

Leave it to this city, which cozies up to its quirky, mysterious side like its red beans smother rice, to come up with a slant on this pattern.

In a city where some Saints fans might be pulling more for the New England Patriots than the Rams, a hated divisional rival, a voodoo priestess is not against the Rams.

Actually, priestess Ava Kay Jones also is pulling for the Patriots. She insists that she is neutral. But the priestess has sensed good vibrations from the Rams. And for that, the Rams owe the Saints - if you believe in voodoo. Since Jones and the Saints got into a snit in December, Jones has been praying and cheering for the Rams.

"I believe, as a whole, the Rams have spiritually inclined people on their team," said Jones, almost as busy this week as the players fielding questions from reporters. "They're allowing the power of God to work through them more than the Saints were allowing the power of God."


Jones is standing in the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum. She walks by shelves of scented candles, voodoo dolls and mojo balls into a room with beads dangling at the doorway and an altar crowded with religious statues, a skull and a bottle of spirits.

The young-looking Jones won't give her age. She says only that she is the mother of a 30-year-old and has a grandson. She is dressed in white, from her wrapped hair to her socks. She is animated, jumping off the couch often to demonstrate how she had been thrust reluctantly into the center of a controversy in New Orleans involving football, her faith and allegedly bad faith.

A longtime Catholic and a 25-year practitioner of voodoo, Jones was ask ed by the Saints in 2000 to help them to reverse a historic skid. The team had no playoff victories in its 34 seasons, never mind only a handful of winning seasons in that time. Superstitious locals speculated the team's unlucky run is tied to the Superdome being built atop a burial ground, displeasing the old spirits who still inhabit the space.

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Lorraine Kee
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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