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How to make a football team out of saints

| Monday, August 27, 2018

For this project, I want to create the holiest of football teams that can still compete on the field. The anti-Oakland Raiders if you will. I would call this team the Saints but I feel that might be trademarked already. Let’s see who places where:

Quarterback: St. Blaise. Blaise is famous for preventing the only child of a distraught mother from choking by giving a simple blessing. I desperately do not want an Atlanta Falcons situation, so I’ll take the player least likely to choke. Also, Jesus already plays quarterback for the Tennessee Titans so he’s out of the running.

Wide Receivers: St. Stephen and St. John the Baptist. If John can receive the messiah, I’m sure he can receive a few footballs. Likewise, St. Stephen took a whole host of arrows to his chest which makes me believe he can withstand a few darts on a quick slant over the middle.

Running Back: St. Perpetua. The gladiator martyr has seen it all. I’ll take someone who was a literal warrior in the gladiator pits to establish my run game. Perpetua was also given visions of heaven which I can only imagine will translate to great on-field vision to hit those gaps hard.

Offensive Line: St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Jerome, Saint Gregory and St. Ignatius of Antioch. I went with an all early Christian theologian lineup here. Although maybe not the most athletic, they are certainly the most offensive. Read Augustine’s views on domestic abuse or accounts of Romans actually trying to kill Ignatius to see so. But many risked heresy or even their life for their views, I’m sure they can risk everything for the QB.

Tight End: St. Maximilian Kolbe. The tight end position is the ultimate, “take one for the team” role, being asked to do everything on the offensive side of the ball without much of the glory. Maximillian took the place of a stranger in Auschwitz to save his life, demonstrating the lack of ego to make him the ultimate team player.

Defensive Line: St. Anthony the Great, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Catherine of Siena and St. John of Patmos. In my opinion, the best defensive lineman are those who are borderline insane. Their only motive is, “see ball, get ball” and might have a screw loose. Each of the saints have crazy visions of lambs and blood and monsters fighting gold with a Virgin Mary sprinkled in there or whatever. I don’t really know what to make of it, but that kind of intensity to God can certainly be directed toward intensity on the line. Hopefully, they treat the opposing quarterback as a sacrificial lamb, and I’m sure they’ll do everything to sack them then.

Linebackers: St. Matthew, St. Peter and St. John the Evangelist. With a 4-3 defense, we are going to have the rock of the church be the rock of the linebacking core. Peter will be the Ray Lewis of this team — without the alleged murder charges — barking out orders. That’s not to say Matthew and John are slouches on the outside. They can slide up for a blitz with some of their miracles but sit back and guide the direction of the team or the church.

Safeties: St. Paul and St. Ignatius of Loyola: When I’m assessing a safety I’m looking at how much coverage they can handle. St. Paul bringing Christianity out from the near east and into the entire Western World is only matched by Ignatius setting up missions in literally the new entire world, new and old. I think between them, they can cover basically anyone lined up on the other side.

Defensive Backs: St. Patrick and St. Paul of Thebes. We’ve heard of Revis Island when it comes to locking down a receiver but what about Patrick locking down the entire island of Ireland? If he can drive out an entire type of animal, I’m sure he can drive out most opposing receivers. On the opposite side of the field we have Paul who lived as a hermit in the Egyptian desert until he was 113 years old. The kind of success in isolation is sure to translate into a lockdown defender.

Kicker/Punter: St. Simeon Stylites. This guy lived on a freaking pillar for 37 years to demonstrate his love of God. 37 years. There is no doubt this man’s leg muscles are able to kick a routine 43 yard field goal if he can stand on a literal pillar for close to four decades.

Though we may not be the most talented team, I think we have a little luck on our side — or Providence if you look at it that way. Every lucky bounce, referee indecision and onside kick will probably go our way. Don’t even get me started on Hail Mary’s. With every week having an “Immaculate Reception” or any sort of last play “Miracle” coupled with a medical staff consisting of Jesus healing any hurt players, I think we’ll be just fine.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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