Soccer….Family Style

There’s a New Pope, AND He Loves Soccer
March 14, 2013, 6:50 am
Filed under: FIFA, International Soccer, Supporter Culture

Disclaimer: I’m Jewish. I may live in Iowa, and know many Catholics, but at the end of the day, there’s a whole bunch I don’t understand about the significance of today’s events at the Vatican. None of this is intended to disrespect the seriousness of this day for my Catholic friends.

Because really, yesterday started out as a running joke. There’s a seagull on the Vatican roof! It has a Twitter account! Sigh…the whole thing of waiting for smoke signals. It’s tough for me to understand the whole religious significance of an event that’s pretty out there in practice. Not that Jews don’t have our own strange traditions, but usually there’s delicious food involved, which I think makes it more accessible. I digress….

So the new Pope is announced, and we, my two kids and I, were running errands and catching snippets of the story via NPR. I caught that the Pope was from Argentina, which I thought was cool because there’s some really great Rabbis and Cantors from there, so I’m absentmindedly thinking that the new Pope has something going for him culturally speaking. My daughter was saying “I thought a Pope was where you go to drink.” No honey, that’s a “pub.” It was about as satisfying as Pope announcements can be for a nice Jewish girl.

Then the soccer jokes started, mostly from my friend @WeberKing, another Jewish USMNT fan: “Move over Maradona, there’s a new guy claiming to be the “Hand of G-d.”

“Sepp Blatter just announced that the new Pope is from Qatar. Sorry US and England”

Then another friend posted a comment wondering if the Pope was a fan of Boca Juniors, River Plate, or perhaps Newell’s Old Boys? All first division teams in Argentina, and kinda cracked me up, envisioning a serious Bishop going nuts over a soccer game. That made me pretty happy, and it wasn’t too hard to imagine, a guy growing up in Argentina being a soccer fan. I mean, giving up sex is one thing, but G-d wouldn’t ask anyone to give up football, right?

So I posted this joke to break up a serious Pope discussion on another friend’s page, and in response, he linked me to this gem: “New Pope Suffers for Argentine soccer club San Lorenzo.” No. Effing. Way. This is amazing. The Pope is a football fan. With a supporters card no less! I can’t really say that this is going to make me convert to Catholicism or anything, (Now if San Lorenzo starts crushing it, you’ll have my attention) but not knowing anything else about him, I’d rather have another supporter in any job. I know he’s got a pretty crappy record on gay rights, but personally, I don’t look to the Catholic Church for leadership on much, least of all gay rights equality. Just don’t take away my birth control options, and we’re cool for now, Pope Francis.

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Turns out, he’s not to bad on Jewish relations… Hat tip to Rabbi David Kaufman for that info. You can find his blog here:

Comment by soccerfamilystyle

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