A holy day of football crowns its newest saint
These are interesting days in the Church. Last Sunday saw the canonization of a saint in Miami, though the actual canonization ceremony took place later in the week in Indianapolis. The process has taken eight years. No miracle was needed during the final days, but several along the way were deemed sufficient.
A few crucifixions are pending, one of these likely to be in Chicago for a fellow named Grossman. As the Church's seasonal calendar progresses, there are going to be some witch hunts, particularly in the San Francisco Bay area. Potions, or as we say today, drugs, are at the center of the probe.
Oh, I keep forgetting. Church and sports and Sundays seem to just blend together, and it's really confusing. To recap, the National Football League season ends this weekend with the Pro Bowl, but for all practical purposes it ended last week with the Super Bowl and Peyton Manning being crowned Most Valuable Player and saint of our generation.
Coaches' heads will roll if they didn't win enough games, and the intensity of the Salem witch hunts will be rivaled by finding fault with losing players and players suspected of drug use.
We certainly are a nation of sports addicts, but that's probably a good thing. A psychologist friend of mine once told me, "Sports are what Americans do between wars." I believe him. Better a hard-fought football game than a hard-fought war any time.
I particularly enjoyed this year's Super Bowl. For the first time in years, there seemed to be no bad guys. How can anyone not like Peyton Manning? He's so Midwest wholesome that if Indiana didn't have a pro football team, they'd have to get one so he could play in the heartland.
The two head coaches are both African Americans who came up the hard way, never hurt anyone, are soft spoken and have a genuine affection for each other. This is getting soupy.
As for the much talked-about "bulletin board" quotes so common to professional sports, there were none. I can imagine the respective bulletin boards in the locker rooms listing local church services. What has this world come to?
Personally, I wanted the Bears to win. I am, by the way, a native of the Windy City. But as hard as I tried, there was no way I was going to be happy if Peyton Manning didn't win his first Super Bowl. He's just too good a man.
My watching the Bears in defeat is never easy, but they lost with such class it was inspiring. It wasn't as though they lost. They came in second. When people say sports just aren't the same as they were in the good old days of clean rivalries and good sportsmanship, they weren't thinking about the Colts and the Bears.
For one day at least, sports and church and all things good went together. Mahalo, Bears. Mahalo, Colts. Mahalo, God.
Brother Greg O'Donnell is president of Damien Memorial School.