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Sportress of Blogitude

Mike Piazza AND Mike Sweeney? Screw The Big Game, I’m Watching The Faith Bowl!

And those goddamn puppies can take a flying leap as well. You wanna know why? Because I gotta have faith. Yes, I’ve gotta have faith, a-faith a- faith, a-faith, I gotta have faith a-faith a-faith….

Bowl!

Who would want to waste time on Sunday watching the monotonous and dull pregame festivities leading up to the Super Bowl when you can spend that time instead watching former major leaguer Mike Piazza, current pro Mike Sweeney and former player Bobby Keppel as they lead a roundtable discussion about Jesus?

Taped last November after the annual retreat for Catholic athletes held in Malibu, California, Faith Bowl III’s goal, according to Reverend Willy Raymond, the director of Family Leader Productions, is to “use high-profile Catholics to reach men and young people with a faith message at a time when they gather in hordes around the tube.”

Well, flog me twice and call me a sinner, that sounds neato, because there are few things more captivating than watching people talk about their religion.

Reverend Willy – I’m sorry, but there is no way in hell I’m trusting a guy who goes by Reverend Willy – knows that it is an uphill battle trying to spread the Good Word, but God willing, they are going to keep trying, despite what he says is the rather limited theological knowledge of the athletes participating in the roundtable.

“These guys are not theologians,” he said. “They’re in the struggle. They’re doing the best they can, and they’re good examples of guys that have made it in one world and still are serious about trying to be disciples of Christ and good people, good men.”

Indeed, Reverend Willy. Indeed. If I could ask anybody to come to my Super Bowl party, it would be Jesus. You know, water into wine and all that stuff.

Moving on, what say you, Mike Piazza? Tell us about your role in the Faith Bowl.

Piazza, who is married with two young daughters, said that at the start of his career, he had a “‘I-wanted-to-be-a-rock-star’ type of mentality, and I realized once I got there that it was very empty at times. … I just have never been as happy as I have being a good husband and father.”

For those of you who have a hankering for the Holy Spirit on Super Bowl Sunday, the Faith Bowl will be broadcast by Catholic TV, EWTN and Eternal World Television. I’m not sure if I get those, but I do know I get some channel that always has some nun rambling on and on about something. Maybe that is one of the two stations. My fingers are “crossed.”

Ratings will not be measured, so no one – except the Good Lord above, I reckon – will have any idea how successful a bunch of ballplayers are at spreading the Good Word, but Mike Piazza says that doesn’t matter.

“To me, if there’s just one person out there who sees this, and says, ‘Hey, I saw Mike, and I thought about it, and went back (to church),’ that’s pretty much all I need,” he said.

Good for you, Mike Piazza. And good for Faith Bowl. It’s about time someone realized that Sunday is a perfect day for contemplating your faith. It’s amazing no one has thought of that before these guys came up with it.

According to the press release, this is sort of hard-hitting action you can expect if you watch the Faith Bowl.

Among scheduled broadcasts on Feb. 7 are EWTN, 5 p.m. (EST/2 p.m. PST); CatholicTV, Boston, 5:30 and 10 p.m. (EST/ 2:30 and 7 p.m. PST) airing on cable systems throughout New England and nationally on Sky Angel IPTV and its website: www.catholictv.org. (Complete list at end of this article.)

Among the issues the panelists discuss are the importance of the Catholic faith, prayer and a sound Christian family life and the important role of a husband and father in being a true man.

Sweeney refers to Piazza being ‘one of the best catchers to ever play the game,’ and then says, ‘But as men, I think our true vocation’ is the covenant they made with Jesus Christ. ‘That relationship supersedes’ everything. Sweeney said that relationship influences the ‘impact that a father can have in a home.’

Piazza responds, ‘That’s where we have to redirect our energy, to teach our young men, this is what a real man is, being a faithful husband, present father and as well as a provider. ¡­ Don’t live the life others want you to live. Live the life God wants you to live.’

Side Note: you guys were waiting for a “Mike Piazza is gay” joke, weren’t you? Look closely. Seek and ye shall find)

Okay, fine. George Michael’s “Faith”, anyone? George Michael is like the Mike Piazza of gay men who sing adult contemporary music and are notorious drug abusers. Hello? You guys are slipping, man. And you’re also a bunch of goddamn heathens.

Sinners. Repent! The Kingdom Of Manning is close at hand!

Super Sunday is not about football at ‘Faith Bowl’ [The Seattle Times/AP]
Faith Bowl III News Release [Catholic.org]