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Bishops bet on basketball finals
June 2nd, 2011
04:28 PM ET

Bishops bet on basketball finals

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)– With the NBA Finals under way between the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks, Catholic bishops from Miami and Dallas are betting on the action.

Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski is a big Heat fan. He offered a "friendly wager" to Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell, himself an avid Mavericks fan.

"Archbishop Wenski approached us. He decided he wanted to prove the Miami Heat were much better than the Mavs. I couldn't let them think they were better than we were," Farrell said by phone from Dallas.

While the Heat's Lebron James and Maverick's Dirk Nowitzki battle it out on the court over the right to hoist the NBA's Larry O'Brien championship trophy, they are also unwittingly fighting for the bishops' bragging rights and some hometown gear.

Wenski has anted up key lime pies and stone crabs, a box of cigars handmade in Miami-Dade County, and a fish bowl containing Fort Lauderdale sand, water from the Atlantic Ocean, and shells from the beach if the favored Heat lose.

Farrell has put up BBQ ribs, tortillas and salsa, deep dish pecan pies and a "Don't Mess with Texas" cap if the Mavericks lose.

"If the Mavs do win, I want to send him a gift anyway," Farrell said. "If they win I want to send him a hat that says 'Don't Mess with Texas.' Then he can send me a picture of him wearing it."

Farrell said the two have known each other for 12 years, having served together on committees with the U.S. Conference of
Catholic Bishops.

Much has been made in the NBA this year about James' move to Miami, where he teamed up with All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. James, a former league MVP, went from a hometown hero with the Cleveland Cavaliers in his native Ohio to the state's most infamous sports heel. It is a role James has reveled in this season and throughout the playoffs. As a result, the Heat have been branded by many commentators as the bad guys.

Farrell knows a thing or two about good and evil in his occupation. "I don't think they're exactly the evil empire ... but they are bad. The good guys," he said, "will come out on top."

Despite hand injury to the Maverick's star player, Nowitzki, Farrell said his hometown team will win the day and he is looking forward to eating some fresh Florida crabs.

"It'll come down to the seventh game, with Mavs pulling off the victory," he said.

Asked if he will be sending up any extra prayers for the Dallas team he said with no hesitation, "We don't need help! We do need the help; I hope God didn't hear that."

The Heat lead the best of seven series 1-0.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Florida • Food • Sports • Texas • United States

soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Daniela

    I found your blog a few weeks ago, and it has been so helpful to me! I stglurge with making the clothes I have work in different ways, but this is going to be so much fun to try! You've inspired me to start a blog, and my first outfit will soon debut there and in the Flickr pool! Woo!

    September 9, 2012 at 1:13 am |
  2. JohnR

    For those wondering why this is "news", it isn't. It's a friggin' human interest story appearing on a blog. I'm sure 99% of the populace don't care, but I'm also sure that the 1% who do don't care that we don't care.

    June 3, 2011 at 9:25 am |
  3. batchoftruth

    And this is news why?

    June 3, 2011 at 4:16 am |
  4. Pete

    who the F%^& cares?

    June 3, 2011 at 4:08 am |
  5. 1-1

    I hope that Farell would share tha stone crabs. Can't wait to see Wenski wearing the Don't miss with texas hat.

    June 3, 2011 at 12:07 am |
  6. Up Your Rear Admiral

    They've been betting on god for centuries, and never won that bet. No reason to stop at that one.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • gerald

      You don't lose on the God does exist bet. According to pascal's wager it's you guys who lose if your wrong. Eternity is a long time to be in hell. If that's the bet you want to take then go ahead. Can't stop you.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • gerald

      By the way it's hardly proven fact that we've lost on the bet that God exists.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • LoneZero

      @gerald
      "You don't lose on the God does exist bet. According to pascal's wager it's you guys who lose if your wrong. Eternity is a long time to be in hell. If that's the bet you want to take then go ahead. Can't stop you."

      actually the problem with pascals wager is did you pick the right God?. So what that you did everything right for this God did you also do everything right for Anibus or Hades? Each offer a special place to go if you don't follow right, pascal wager fails on this. You can't possible bet on the right god since every other good can equally be as real as yours.

      which also means your proven fact isn't proven at all since no one has every returned to confirm it.

      June 3, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • gerald

      There is only one. You can't pick another. The pagan gods don't exist. Everybody knows that. I am not bothered by people such as Jews, Muslims, and other Christian denominations having some errors in their theology regarding the one God. They are in general picking the right one.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  7. Insecure in Bel-Air

    CNN please be sure and let us know, (and assign a writer to an article about), when they take out their trash, and brush their teeth. Are we this bored ?

    June 2, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Brittany

      Seriously...Why is this news worthy?

      June 2, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • Wait a second

      They didn't want to show all the religious-based crimes out there or they wouldn't have any room for any other news.
      Be glad they didn't post something detrimental to your religion. Or did they and you are trying to minimize it? Hmm.

      June 2, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • Insecure in Bel-Air

      @Wait a second
      paranoid much ? no religion here

      June 2, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
  8. curious

    I believe that there is in the bible that says betting is a sin but I don't know the specific chapter(s) and verse(s). Hope that somebody cited it here.

    June 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • gerald

      You can believe all you want. It's not in there. There is no command or precept in the Bible that speaks about gambling, at least in a condemning way. They did cast lots for Jesus garmets and the apostles cast lots also for the replacement of Judas. Casting lots is a form of gambling. It should of course be considered with regard to prudence in using the resources that God has given. But there is no condemnation of it in scripture.

      June 2, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @curious

      As far as I'm concerned, I could care less that these guys(bishops) are having a friendly bet on the finals. Looks and sounds as if... there is 'no' harm to themselves or others, unless i learn otherwise.

      Peace...

      June 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Tiburion Harangius

      "Thou shalt not put the Lord thy God to the test."
      When you gamble, you are trying to tempt God into giving you what he doesn't think you deserve.

      June 2, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Tiburion Harangius

      You Said: "When you gamble, you are trying to tempt God into giving you what he doesn't think you deserve."

      W T F...?

      Peace...

      June 3, 2011 at 1:18 am |
    • Pete

      So how is praying any different?

      June 3, 2011 at 4:09 am |
    • JohnR

      Didn't they draw lots to determine the new 12th disciple after Judas checked out?

      June 3, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • gerald

      Tiburion really? That's interpretation to fit pre-conceived notion.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  9. GSA

    @doctore0 – yes they are the ones who are foolish because we all know that if you gamble you will go to he-ll, you're so smart. (sarcasm...in case you didn't get it and I didn't think you would doctore0)

    June 2, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  10. doctore0

    Gambling = Sin... hahahah they are so foolish :)

    June 2, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  11. David Johnson

    Did these Bishops have any sort of revelation about who would win? Did they pray that their team would win?

    Hmmm... Prayer doesn't work, so I'm okay with that. As far as revelation... I would love to play poker with them.

    When I was in college, there was this one loser who was very spiritual. He loved to play cards. You could "see" him using his relationship with god and whatever, to visualize his next card. Anyway, god loved him and we loved him more. Instead of Ramen, we would get pizza and beer for several days after our card game.

    Cheers!

    June 2, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • PeterVN

      Ahoy, what's this. You found one benefit to religion there :-).

      Cheers.

      June 3, 2011 at 9:48 am |
  12. GSA

    @SeanNJ – you may be above telling that joke but I am not above laughing at it, HAHA, good one.

    June 2, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  13. SeanNJ

    What are the stakes? Altar boys?

    Ugh, I feel dirty even using that joke. I'm better than that.

    June 2, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • ScottK

      "Wenski has anted up key lime pies and stone crabs, a box of cigars handmade in Miami-Dade County, and a fish bowl containing Fort Lauderdale sand, water from the Atlantic Ocean, and shells from the beach"

      "Farrell has put up BBQ ribs, tortillas and salsa, deep dish pecan pies and a "Don't Mess with Texas" cap"

      Some of those have to be code words for alter boys...

      June 2, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • gerald

      Grow up. Man this altar boy stuff is getting old. Those who joke about it don't care about the vicitms or the crime. Just looking to get their jollies off of jokes.

      June 2, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • gerald is such a whiner

      waaahhhh!

      June 2, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • chief

      some dont like the alter boy comments ..... most likely they are priests

      June 3, 2011 at 8:11 am |
    • Frogist

      LOL @SeanNJ and ScottK!! You guys are bad!

      June 3, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • gerald

      Intelligent comment chief. Bravo. What grade did you finish in school? How many teeth do you have left?

      June 3, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Charge Nurse Betty

      {

      June 4, 2011 at 9:20 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.