The Bishop of Michigan, the Rt. Rev. Wendell Gibbs, might want to ask his counterpart in Arizona for advice.

That’s because if Pittsburgh Assisting Bishop Robert Johnson calls, Bishop Gibbs will need to do better this time around.

Bishop Johnson could soon lay claim to what no other Episcopal bishop can – a boast before fellow bishops at General Convention that his diocese is home to two current national sports championships. And there’s nothing worse than a Pittsburgh sports fan, who, already more than proud that only the Steelers have won six Super Bowls, is now ready for the Penguins to hoist the Stanley Cup over their head for the third time.

Admitted, in Bishop Johnson’s case, it’s an adopted pride. After all, his home diocese is Western North Carolina. And, the Pens did indeed skate over the Carolina Hurricanes in order to earn a rematch with the Detroit Red Wings.

Last year, Detroit defeated Pittsburgh in a hard-fought six games of the Stanley Cup series. So as to not turn this into a sports page story, let’s just say that this time around, the Red Wings may need more than prayers to emerge victorious over a dominant Pittsburgh team.

Bishop Kirk Smith of Arizona should know.

The Steelers’ 27-23 victory over the Cardinals in February’s Super Bowl will force Bishop Smith to wear a Steelers cap, and treat Bishop Johnson to lunch, during General Convention in Anaheim come July. Bishop Smith also agreed to donate $100 to the Pittsburgh Diocese for any use of Bishop Johnson’s choosing. Such is the small price for losing a friendly wager over national bragging rights.

More than an act of faith may be need for a 2009 trifecta involving the Pittsburgh Pirates. So, does anyone want to wager on the G20 summit?


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