Can you believe the mayor of Philadelphia went to the Vatican and gave the Pope a freaking football jersey?
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) March 27, 2014
Pope Francis actually got jerseys of six Philadelphia sports teams: The four major sports, a Union jersey — which is at least a sport that’s popular in both Italy and the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s native Argentina — and the St. Joe’s Prep football jersey above. Yes, the Pope now owns a Phillies jersey; he can dress like Macklemore.
The mayor also gave the Pope a miniature replica of the Liberty Bell.
While Mayor Nutter, Tom Corbett and their entourage didn't get a private meeting with the Pope, they did get to talk with him in Saint Peter's Square. "Nutter and Gov. Tom Corbett each gave a thumbs up following the meeting," NBC 10 reported. Keep in mind that the Pope didn't have time to meet with the Philadelphia delegation privately but had time to hold this crying child.
I'm not sure if anything has made Philadelphia look more like a little podunk town than the mayor going to Rome and giving the Pope six sports jerseys and a trinket. Six sports jerseys! What's the Pope going to do with six Philadelphia sports jerseys, most of which are sports the Pope probably has no interest in. (To be fair, the holy father is a sports fan. And it's not like athletes have better gifts: Soccer stars Gianluigi Buffon and Lionel Messi appear to have given the pope a houseplant.)
Look, the Philadelphia delegation could have figured out better gifts to give the Pope. Here are some ideas:
- Tastykakes. There are lots of Philadelphia foods one could give to the pope, but I figure the easiest ones to get over to Rome would be a bunch of Tastykakes.
- An Allen Iverson Sixers jersey. I'm not opposed to sports jerseys per se. I'm opposed to sports jerseys the Pope has no interest in. However, basketball, like soccer, is also popular in both Italy and Argentina, and the terrible Sixers even remain popular around the world today because of how incredibly popular Allen Iverson was. (Really!) I bet the Pope knows of Allen Iverson, at least.
- Trading Places on Blu-Ray. Maybe a DVD/Blu-Ray combo in case the Pope only has a DVD player. This pope seems like a pretty chill guy, so clearly he likes to laugh. Why not this classic that often makes Philadelphia in the 1980s look pretty nice?
- The Complete Fresh Prince DVD Set. Surely the Pope has heard of Will Smith's rumored affair with Australian model and Focus co-star Margot Robbie. After they stepped out in Argentina together, I know it's all I can talk about.
- Saint John Neumann Shrine Gift Shop Gift Card. For when he eventually visits Philadelphia!
- 16-Inch Blessed Sacrament Sister Nun Doll from the Saint Katharine Drexel Shrine in Bensalem. A steal at $75.
- The recent Ubiq/Saucony Dirty Martini sneaker collaboration. Obviously, the Pope can't get this in Europe.
It's clear that any of these would … wait, what?
Oh yeah: Kudos to Action News for catching just how excited the pope was over his St. Joe's Prep jersey! I was wrong about these being bad gifts. Look at the unbridled joy on his face. Maybe this Pope truly is a saint.
Follow @dhm on Twitter.