CHICAGO — It’s a time-worn tradition, particularly among politicians, but prelates get in on the act, too: Making a friendly bet on the outcome of a sports championship, with the proceeds benefiting a worthy cause.
And so Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich and St. Petersburg Bishop Robert Lynch, whose diocese includes Tampa Bay, have bet on the Stanley Cup.
Should the Tampa Bay Lightning prevail, Cupich will buy Chicago deep-dish pizza for the 300 residents of Pinellas Hope, a shelter in Clearwater, Florida.
In the event of a Blackhawks victory, Lynch promises to send cases of Florida grapefruit to the St. Leo Campus for Veterans in Chicago.
Wait, what? Your homeless folks could get reams of pizza dripping with melted cheese and loaded with luscious toppings, and you offer Chicago fruit? Really?
We bet the tough-as-nails veterans, who have served in who knows how many wars, are licking their chops and have their dainty little grapefruit spoons at the ready.
Look, certainly people who are homeless are grateful for any largesse, and Florida grapefruit is delicious. But c’mon … Florida is also known for blue crab, stone crab, rock shrimp, Key lime pie, Cuban sandwiches … all of which are a bit heftier in the belly than a piece of sour citrus.
Maybe if Tampa Bay wins, Cupich will supplement the Florida grapefruit with some good, old-fashioned Chicago pizza. The vets can use the grapefruit to cleanse their palate between slices.
Regardless, both prelates expressed confidence in their teams.
“Heaven knows there is no ice in Tampa,” Cupich said in a press release. “So while it is a long shot, we promise to send our real pizzas south in the unlikely event Chicago loses.”
“Chicago could use some Florida sunshine,” Lynch responded. “If by some miracle the Blackhawks win, we will send our beautiful grapefruit to the veterans at St. Leo’s Residence.”
Tampa Bay leads the best-of-seven series 2-1, with Game 4 set for Wednesday.