Faith and American football? Who knows (or really cares?)… UNLESS the collision involves an injury-riddled quarterback and a certain soccer-crazed Pope.
That’s right– Eagles fans have actually started a petition on Change.org urging Pope Francis to bless Sam Bradford’s knees upon his two-day visit to Philadelphia in late September. Given the fact that the Pope is a diehard San Lorenzo de Almagro fan– club member number 88,235 with an association membership card always on hand– these fans might have as good a chance as ever to get a blessing from the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church.
Imagine getting together with a group of your closest azulgrana friends to cheer on Barcelona in the Supercopa de Europa this afternoon, heading to your local supporters’ bar, getting too riled up when Sevilla kills your chances of winning the sextuple.
Now imagine the Pope getting together with a group of his closest azulgrana friends to cheer on San Lorenzo (Los Santos are also blue and red, and the team colors originate from the blue and red found in the Virgin Mary’s robe), heading to his local supporters’ bar, getting too riled up about a game versus Huracán. On second thought, you might have a better chance of finding him at the stadium; he was present at every single home match (and even some away) in 1946 when the team won the Primera title.
In 2008, when Pope Francis was still Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he celebrated an extra special mass for the 100th anniversary of his favorite club, which was actually created by a priest named Lorenzo Massa, in 1908. In 2013, he hoisted the team’s league-winning trophy for all to see in St. Peter’s Square. Club president Marcelo Tinelli stated that “the hand of the pope and the hand of God” (referencing Diego Maradona) had helped them on their miraculous path to victory.
So maybe Eagles fans have the right idea here. Bradford’s knees could use a little reinforcement, and who better to ask than a sports-loving, trophy-lifting, membership card-carrying San Lorenzo fan (who also happens to be the Pope).