Columnists Mark my words

It’s easy to see where I went wrong

Father Mark Goldasich is the pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Tonganoxie. He has been editor of the Leaven since 1989.

by Father Mark Goldasich

Sadly, I lost my faith.

Whoops! I hit return on my keyboard too soon. That sentence should read: Sadly, I lost my faith in the Kansas City Chiefs on Christmas Day. I was at my cousins’ home enjoying a delicious meal that afternoon. My cousin Frank asked if I wanted to watch the rest of the Chiefs game.

I said, “No, because they stink this year. They don’t have any chemistry and they’re painful to watch.” Sure enough, the Chiefs lost 20-14 to the despised Las Vegas Raiders. My cousin and I commiserated that the Chiefs might not make the playoffs this year and, if they did somehow, they’d be done in the first round.

Well, we know how that turned out. The Chiefs did make the playoffs and knocked off the Dolphins at home and then beat Buffalo away. I still wasn’t convinced, though — hey, the Bills had a lot of injuries, right? — especially when facing the No. 1 team, the Ravens, in Baltimore.

Never content to keep my opinions private, I ended the Mass announcements on Jan. 28 and 29 with: “The Knights of Columbus have moved their meeting from Feb. 11 to Feb. 4 because of the Super Bowl. I don’t know why because I don’t think we’ll care very much about who will be playing this year.” When I heard rumbling from the congregation, I doubled down, “Sorry, Andy and Patrick, but you’re just not gonna do it. Hey, somebody has to say it.”

Well, I was not the most popular person greeting people after the Masses. One parishioner had just crocheted a beautiful scarf for me in the Chiefs’ colors. She shook her head and said, “You know, after what you said, I’m not sure I want to give this to you!” (She did.)

I didn’t need to watch that AFC Championship game since my phone started blowing up with texts at 5:17 p.m. that Sunday: “Can’t believe you doubted ‘em! How ‘bout them CHIEFS!!!” and “Ye of little faith. Patrick’s prayer was answered.”

And then there were the Facebook messages and the emails! The next Sunday a couple even presented me with a BEL15VE T-shirt.

Cut to Super Bowl Sunday. I didn’t watch the game because: 1) I rarely watch any sporting games live; and 2) a Bayer aspirin ad said that “heart attack risk can more than double when your home team plays.” I wasn’t taking any chances!

I reassured folks that, of course, I was pulling for the Chiefs. I said I’d turn on the TV, though, only if I heard fireworks because that meant the Chiefs won. Sunday night I watched the clock estimating when the game should be over. All was quiet in Tonganoxie. I was about to fold up that special T-shirt when I heard a massive boom followed by a fusillade of pops. I rushed to the TV and found we’d won . . . in overtime. Hallelujah!

How can we celebrate this new sports dynasty? I have a couple of suggestions. A delightful video from Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas suggested giving a donation to their ministries in the following amounts: $13 in honor of Taylor Swift’s lucky number; $87 in honor of Travis Kelce’s jersey number; or $100 in honor of them both.

Or if you bought some Super Bowl merch, how about donating an equal dollar amount to your parish (in addition to your usual contribution) or to a favorite charity. That way, our joy in the Chiefs can help others in need celebrate as well.

Incidentally, given my prowess in foretelling this past Chiefs’ season, I think I’m well-suited for another career: predicting the weather in Kansas!

About the author

Fr. Mark Goldasich

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