Friday, January 13, 2006

10 years ago tomorrow, the Lord visited Messiah's bathroom 

As the Steelers prepare to meet the heavily-favored Colts on Sunday, I'm reminded of the January 14, 1996 AFC Championship game -- back when the Steelers were the heavy favorites.

Just the other day I watched the recap of the contest on "NFL's Greatest Games." Aside from the Colts' hail mary falling mercifully incomplete at the end, I'd forgotten how the game unfolded. It was fun to see it again. And it reminded me that this was the only time in my life that I ever prayed in the hopes of affecting the outcome of a sporting event. It went down something like this:

During the timeout prior to the hail mary, I was in the bathroom at Messiah's parents' house. I actually stopped and prayed to the Lord above to let us make it to the Super Bowl. Thinking that God gives a rat's ass about sports, of course, is a belief I normally like to make fun of. But in this particular case, I felt it necessary. You see, the Colts' QB, Jim Harbaugh, seemed to have a very close personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He said so after each game that he'd won in the playoffs, knocking off far better teams as double-digit underdogs. So while I was not praying to Mr. Christ, per se, I felt something had to be done to counteract his "Captain Comeback" mojo.

While my idea worked, it turns out I really should have prayed that Neil O'Donnell would be able to tell the difference between Larry Brown and his own wide receivers a couple weeks later.

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