Anaheim, California – Two Bishops put pride aside today before their fellow bishops of the Episcopal Church, the result of losing friendly wagers with the Bishop of Pittsburgh over who would win the Super Bowl and the Stanley Cup.

Pittsburgh won both.

As a result, Bishop Kirk Smith of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona donned Steelers gear, and Bishop Wendell Gibbs of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan put on Penguins attire, as promised earlier this year to Bishop Robert Johnson of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. The two bishops also received a team towel, either a Steelers “Terrible Towel” marking the team’s sixth Super Bowl win, or the white rally towel waved by Penguins fans.

Bishop Johnson presented the championship gear at the beginning of a House of Bishops meeting at the Episcopal Church’s General Convention, which is underway in Anaheim, California.


Bishop Kirk Smith, Bishop Robert Johnson, Bishop Wendell Gibbs

The original Super Bowl bet called for Bishop Smith, win or lose, to donate $100 to a cause of Bishop Johnson’s choosing in Pittsburgh. However at today’s presentation, Bishop Johnson turned that check, along with a matching amount, over to Bishop Gibbs of Michigan.

“Because the people of Detroit are suffering far worse in this economy, we thought that would be a much better use of Bishop Smith’s money, and we’re happy to help as well,” said Bishop Johnson. The gift to the Bishop of Michigan was unexpected, since there was no financial wager in the Stanley Cup bet.

Many Pittsburghers have been praising Bishop Johnson for his winning ways within the diocese and with local teams.

“It hasn’t been lost on us that since he joined us [in January], the Steelers won the Super Bowl and Penguins won the Stanley Cup,” remarked the diocesan Standing Committee president, the Rev. Dr. James Simons, during a panel marking the opening of the General Convention. Simons, an avid baseball fan, continued, “If he could only do something for the Pirates.”

Photo courtesy of Herb Gunn, Episcopal Diocese of Detroit
Click on the picture for a larger version

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