Super Bowl prompts extraOrdinary wager between rival bishops

In addition to the best of professional football, a worldwide audience, and high-stakes competition, Super Bowl LIV was serving up surf or turf.

At least in either the Diocese of Kansas City–St. Joseph or the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Both were betting confidently on their home teams.

So when the clock ran out on 2020’s Super Bowl LIV, either San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone was going to be dining on Kansas City Strip or Kansas City’s Bishop James V. Johnston Jr. was going to be tasting succulent Pacific crab.

With Kansas City’s thrilling come-from-behind victory over San Francisco, Bishop Johnston will be adding seafood to his menu courtesy of Archbishop Cordileone.

“In the spirit of fellowship and healthy competition, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and Bishop James Johnston Jr. of the Diocese of Kansas City–St. Joseph agreed to a friendly wager in honor of Super Bowl LIV,” the Diocese of Kansas City–St. Joseph’s website said.

The Kansas City Chiefs faced the San Francisco 49ers in Miami, representing bragging rights for the National Football Conference champion 49ers and the Chiefs, the American Football Conference champs. The Chiefs won 31-20.

“These two storied franchises have the pleasure of playing in two vibrant Catholic dioceses, and the bishops chose a friendly wager to reflect the loyal fans, the witness of striving for goals, and the common good of teamwork and community unity,” according to

That wager stated that for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, should the 49ers lose, Archbishop Cordelione will send Dungeness Crabs to Bishop Johnston.

And for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, if the Chiefs had lost, Bishop Johnston was to send Kansas City Steak Co. steaks to Archbishop Cordileone.

Included in the bishops’ prayer intentions the week leading up to the Super Bowl was for safe travel, good sportsmanship, and play without injury for all involved.

“On Feb. 2, not only will a Super Bowl Champion be named, an Ordinary will soon have the beginnings of a fantastic meal,” the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocesan website said.

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