Divine Interception: Fans react as Pope Francis tweet features NFL hashtag
Fans of the New Orleans Saints might have another reason for thinking that their team is heaven-sent this year after Pope Francis accidentally name-checked the side in a Sunday tweet ahead of a game with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Five new saints were canonized by the head of the Catholic Church in Vatican City earlier in the day and in a social media missive intended to celebrate the occasion the Supreme Pontiff's account used the #Saints hashtag which Twitter automatically changed to the NFL team's famous fleurs-de-lis logo.
"Today we give thanks to our new Saints," the Pope wrote. "They walked by faith and now we invoke their intercession."
Today we give thanks to the Lord for our new #Saints. They walked by faith and now we invoke their intercession.— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) October 13, 2019
As you might expect, the tweet was quickly seized upon by gridiron fans with some asking when the Pope was going to be releasing his betting picks for the week.
Another enquired as to whether the Saints had picked someone up in free agency that he had missed, while one fan questioned if the Pope actually meant 'interception' instead of 'intercession'.
Putting all my money on the Saints today.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) October 13, 2019
The Hail Mary doesn't generally work in football, so I don't see why advice from the Pope would.— Nat Ghoulsen 🧟♂️ (@nat_paulsen) October 13, 2019
Pope, so Bridgewater is a MUST start?— Hurley (@mikeehurl) October 13, 2019
God is not a Jets fan— PS©🥩🏈🏋️♂️ (@GodKbsJets60) October 13, 2019
Whether or not the Saints require assistance from a higher power to defeat the Jaguars remains to be seen, but there has been many a fan in New Orleans who have offered whispers to the heavens following the thumb injury suffered by franchise quarterback Drew Brees which has sidelined him for the majority of the season thus far.Also on rt.com 'Your stomach just drops. You feel sick': NFL QB Mason Rudolph knocked unconscious after vicious helmet-to-helmet hit (VIDEO)
Of course, with four wins from their five games so far this year (and prior to Sunday's clash with Jacksonville) there are teams who could probably do with the Pope's help more than the fans who pack into the Superdome on Sundays - starting with two of the NFL's only winless teams remaining, the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins, squaring off on Sunday.
Someone's prayers of a first victory will be answered come Sunday night. The other side? Well, they'll still be in limbo.