Sports Opinion & Analysis

Wes Welker And The New Pope: A Plot Uncovered

In NFL on March 17, 2013 at 7:14 am

By Jeff Weyant

Is there a connection? *cue lightning strike and thunder clap*

“Wes Welker,” for many New Englanders, is no longer a proper noun denoting a specific human being. It’s a curse word that may or may not refer to the person who may or may not have left the Patriots organization and then may or may not have joined the team that may or may not be quarterbacked by Peyton Manning who may or may not be known as The Person Who’s Delaying Tom Brady’s Universal Acknowledgement As Man’s Greatest Achievement. To put it another way, most Patriots fans are wondering just how in the hell this happened.

Luckily, I have a perfectly reasonable and obviously incontrovertible explanation that will withstand whatever perspicacious force one might bring against it.

To begin, did anyone notice that the announcement of Welker’s organizational shift (naturally by Adam Schefter) came just minutes before white smoke appeared atop the Vatican, signalling that the conclave of Cardinals had elected a new pontiff? I did. And that’s when the wheels started turning.

Remembering everything I’d learned from Dan Brown’s masterpiece The Da Vinci Code, I rushed around Paris and London with an attractive French woman, scouring the catacombs of churches and the mansions of elderly weirdos in an effort to uncover the origin of such an amazing confluence of events.

The first clue was the one already mentioned above, that the two events were reported on Twitter, humanity’s bastion of truth and wonder, at nearly the same time. And it’s relevant that Welker’s deal was reported before the election of a new pontiff, because if Jose Mario Bergoglio was declared pope and then Welker left New England for Denver, people would have caught on too quickly. The Vatican is run by highly intelligent individuals who understand the complex rules of cat-and-mouse, cloak-and-dagger politics and so they ordered the information in such a way as to throw off the scent of amateur gumshoes. Fortunately I’m a professional, having schooled myself early on in life with the legends and myths of Philip Marlowe and Harry Potter, two of the greatest sleuths of the last one hundred years.

One used wands and magic, the other cigarettes and women. They’re basically the same person.

My mind racing, it occurred to me that Tom Brady, Welker’s former best friend quarterback, was raised as a Roman Catholic and that he and his current wife, Gisele Bündchen, were married in a ceremony that was, according to the tireless journalists at E! and People, “intimate” and “private” and “Catholic.” It then occurred to me that Tom Brady, eighteen months earlier, had a child out of wedlock with Bridget Moynahan, a practice frowned upon by the Catholic Church. Furthermore, the new pope is the first ever Jesuit. Tom Brady is not a Jesuit. The Church, it seemed to me, was moving in a new direction, and perhaps Brady was going to be left behind?

Now came a flood of revelations, bombarding my faculties like a squadron of eagles hell-bent on tearing apart my brain: (1) Brady leans Republican in his political affiliations but refuses to admit this publicly, much to the chagrin of the conservative hierarchy, of which the Catholic hierarchy are life-long council members. And as everyone knows, if you can’t affirm something publicly, private affirmation is useless (I believe credit for this belief is owed to Plato or maybe Bart Simpson). (2) Brady dances like this, which is quite obviously an affront to Catholic honor and nobility. It’s an action which aims to single-handedly overturn everything St. Peter worked for when the founded the Church some two thousand years ago. A grievous slight indeed. And (3) Denver has a larger population of Hispanic Catholics than Boston, and since the election of an Argentine bishop is clearly an affirmation that Hispanic Catholicism is the future of global Catholicism, it only makes sense to empower Denver and weaken Boston, right?

With all this clear in my mind, still something was missing, some variable in the equation that was unknown. I tried and re-tried the calculus over and over again and still something was wrong. Sure, Brady angered the Vatican on multiple occasions. Sure, Denver seems like a fitting place to assign allegiance if you’re the Pope. But that wasn’t enough to satisfy my analytical faculties. I felt like I was overlooking some important aspect of the situation. What could it be?

PEYTON MANNING PLAYS FOR THE DENVER BRONCOS.

And suddenly all was revealed.

If you’re the Vatican and you want to stick it to one of your high-profile members, what better foil to Tom Brady than Peyton Manning? Aside from on-the-field associations, Manning has every trump card over Brady: Manning has a stable family, a wife and two kids, no out-of-wedlock children, and the sort of comedic, southern drawl that puts people at ease and gives everybody the impression of a devout and faithful father. To that end, he prays a lot (you might even say religiously), before games, after games, during games, and he’s the kind of Christian who tries hard to not display his devotion, avoiding the public eye when he affirms his faith. In addition, Manning has donated thousands of dollars to Republican campaigns over the years, including those of John McCain and George W. Bush, and is not shy about admitting his political affiliations. And, finally, Manning is rumored by many to be God Himself.

And so it all makes sense. The Catholic Church wants to move in a new direction, tired of European Popes and their Eurocentric outlook. So they look to South America and grant the papacy to a famous Argentine, a Jesuit no less. And from there a chain reaction occurs: Tom Brady’s transgressions are no longer overlooked because of his athletic prowess and the New England Patriots and their quarterback lose favor with the Vatican as a deal is worked out behind closed doors – by the same Cardinals who elected Pope Francis – to send Wes Welker from the Patriots to the Broncos where Peyton Manning, The Chosen One, commands a Christian army baptized originally by Tim Tebow, a clear signal as to the future of Catholicism on planet Earth.

My mystery solved, my work done, I lay down in the nearest bed with a cold sweat. A fever raged as the last 22.5 minutes of effort took its toll on the physical cage we call a body. Thankfully, after five minutes of deserved relaxation, the worst was over and I arose from my humble pallet to dictate the revelations contained herein. Because the truth couldn’t wait – I had to tell the world what I knew!

But what the world does with that truth? It’s out of my hands.

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