Individual religious persuasion aside, the fact is that some Balboa teams could use a little help these days, the way they're playing, and maybe John Paul II could have provided same.
Look at Balboa United in B-3, for example. They're nice lads, shave the bottom half of their skulls and plaster down the rest, help old ladies across the freeway and what have they to show for it? An 0-4-1 record, that's what, having scored just 4 goals (GF) and coughed up 15 (GA), and on top of that, were penalized a point for failing to provide a linesperson at last Saturday's game -- which incidentally, they Sonny Liston-ed to Heat II, 2-1. You think these boys wouldn't welcome a prayer or two? Or a Hail Mary goal?
The Heat II ain't so hot themselves, for that matter, posting a 1-2-2 record, 8 GFs and 9 GA. Then there's the Bulls in B-6 West, playing as if they're in a bear market (0-5-0; 2 GF and 20 GA), the Hotshots in G-3 (1-3-1; 2 GF and 12 GA), the Sidekicks in B-4 (0-5-1; 3 GF and 9 GA), the Cyclone in G-4 (0-3-1; 1 measly GF but 9 GA) and the Street Heat in B-5 west (0-3-2; 4 GF and 11 GA). There are others in need of just as much help, but let it go.
So if your team has a tough game today, as the 4-1-2 Balboa B-1 team has with a strong Saugus team, or the 3-0-2 Stingers has with the 5-0-0 Mighty Maulers in B-6 East, take this advice from The Swami: Look up toward Heaven and repeat the following, "God, if it's not too much of a bother, could You make our net smaller every time the other team kicks the ball toward it and make theirs bigger every time we attack?" Hey, you never know.
Incidentally, of the 11 teams in Boys-4, six have records of 3-1-2, 3-1-1, or 2-2-2. The Thunderbolts, currently the leader at 3-1-2, face the second place Balboa United, 3-1-1, while the 3-1-1 Crushers get the 2-2-2 Venom, the 3-1-1 Predators get the 2-3-1 Thunderhawks and the 3-1-1 P. C. Kickers get the hang-dog 0-3-2 Bulldogs. A win here, a prayer answered, a loss there and bingo!, you've got a new divisional leader.
There similar bunching in B-3, B-5 East and B-6 West, as well as G-3, G-4 G-5 and G-6.
Good games today pit the first place Treville, 4-1-0, against the third place No Fear, 3-2-0, in B-3; the first place Rebellion, 3-1-1, against the second place Rocket SC, also 3-1-1, in G-3; and the front running Tidal Wave, 4-1-0, against the third place Lightning, 3-1-1, in G-5.
Speaking of the Pope's various appearances back on the East Coast, The Swami is reminded that he himself made many urgent prayers years ago at Aqueduct and most of them went unanswered. May all those nags burn in ... oh well, let by-gones be by-gones.