Thursday, September 24, 2015
Pope Francis will curiously not be hosting a mass at Yankee Stadium, which is the typical public location for a sitting pope to do so out of concern for his exhaustion, but he will be hosting a mass at Madison Square Garden. This, I believe, is the closest this trip will get to anything sports-related, which is a damn shame considering John Paul II's visit to St. Louis in the late 1990s that included a private audience with Mark McGwire, and a hilarious photo of him receiving an authentic jersey from the St. Louis Blues that I have to imagine he wore regularly around St. Peter's. He certainly wasn't wearing it around the rink.
I don't much believe in Catholicism or the Pope's significance on a religious level (which really shouldn't be a surprised considering the obvious), but I will admit I know people that need his guidance. The New York Giants have a rare Thursday night tilt against the Washington Redskins tonight, and if anyone could use the help of a higher power to get back on the straight and narrow, it's probably my boys in blue. Following consecutive back-breaking losses that could otherwise have the Giants in commanding early position in the NFC East, the Giants need a win desperately to get back into the race, which is a lot to say in Week 3 of the season, but it isn't wrong.
It is rare that both the New York Giants and the Holy Father are in the same general geographic area at the same time -- there aren't many football fields in the Vatican, though I hear there are some good livestock shows -- but I can only hope some of his influence can rub off on Big Blue as they make a bid to save their season. If Francis manages to have an impact on his brief visit to New York, well, maybe I'll start believing in miracles.
If nothing else he might leave with a pretty sweet personalized jersey.
Last week: 7-9-0
NY GIANTS (-4) over Washington
CLEVELAND (-3.5) over Oakland
Atlanta (-2) over DALLAS
Indianapolis (-3.5) over TENNESSEE
ST. LOUIS (+1) over Pittsburgh
MINNESOTA (-2.5) over San Diego
Jacksonvile (+13.5) over NEW ENGLAND
NY JETS (-2.5) over Philadelphia
CAROLINA (-3) over New Orleans
BALTIMORE (-2.5) over Cincinnati
HOUSTON (-6.5) over Tampa Bay
ARIZONA (-6.5) over San Francisco
Buffalo (+2.5) over MIAMI
SEATTLE (-14.5) over Chicago
Denver (-3) over DETROIT
GREEN BAY (-6.5) over Kansas City