The greatest sports journalists score interviews with the greatest names in sports.
The rest of us, those without access or credibility, get our exclusives from different sources. This is one such example: An interview with the Twitter feed of Pope Francis.
Pope Francis, thank you so much for giving me a couple minutes to talk sports with you. I know you’re busy on your short trip to the United States. I mostly want to talk to you about football, America’s de facto religion.
But first off, I really appreciate you agreeing to an interview with The Cauldron, an online publication. Do you ever have time to wade into the comments sections on sports sites?
I’ll take that as a “yes.” So, is there any way to fix comments sections? Seems like a lost cause.
Agreed. O.K., moving along ... What are your thoughts on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell? He seems to think that it’s him, not you, who is the beacon of morality on Earth. What do you think of all his fines and suspensions?
Naturally. Of course, Goodell has had a lot of dealings in the past months with the Super Bowl champion Patriots. Do you have any words of encouragement for NFL teams who think they can never defeat Bill Belichick and the Patriots, on or off the field?
Well, that doesn't seem to have worked for Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, though.
What are your thoughts on Peyton Manning. Is his Super Bowl window closed? He looks really old out there.
Yeah. Take that, Peyton haters.
You should work in the Broncos ticket sales office, Pope Francis, although I think attendance at Mile High is just as strong as it's always been.
Speaking of the elderly, what do you think is going on with Drew Brees and the Saints? They really suck now.
Well, hard to argue that they aren't going to be marginalized by the playoffs. They’re awful. This is a team that won the Super Bowl not too long ago! They were great!
I’m going to have to disagree with you there. They put out bounties. Doesn’t seem too loving to me.
Getting back to the 0–2 Seahawks for just a moment, Wilson doesn’t seem to have stepped his game up since getting that big contract. Do you think he is just a game manager who can’t win without a top-tier defense?
Clearly, you spent a lot of time ministering to the poor and the lost. Here in America, we have folks like that, too. We call them the Cleveland Browns and their fans. What words of encouragement can you give them today?
The end of the world, huh? So, yeah, doesn’t sound like there’s a chance of a championship anytime soon. What about the Browns' quarterbacks, what would you say to them?
Fragile and poor? I’m not sure how much that would motivate them. Come on. Give me something good. You’re the coach of the Browns. What do you tell them before they take the field?
O.K., that's better.
Hey, did you watch that New York-Washington game last night? Why do the networks keep putting NFC East games on TV? That division is garbage. I’d rather watch anything else.
Understood. O.K., turning to college football for a minute ... do you think college players should be paid?
Do you watch basketball at all? You’ve probably been called the LeBron of Faith a few times, right? Do you think the Cavs can win a title this year with Kevin Love?
Well said. People believe that guy is better than he really is. If you have time for one baseball question: Do you think great players who were linked to steroids, like Barry Bonds, deserve to be in the Hall of Fame?
Exactly my thoughts. They’re great with or without the science edge. They should be in the Hall. O.K., any final thoughts on sports?
Ooof. Good luck with that. You’re going to Philadelphia this weekend.
I will. You’re going to need it. Thanks again for your time, Pope Francis!