The unusual Cincinnati connection to the "Hail Mary" pass

Football season is upon us! For Bengals fans that means many of us will be reciting extra prayers for our team as we wonder if God cares if the Bengals win?

Perhaps in your fervent prayers, you can recite the one Catholic prayer that is most closely associated with football – the Hail Mary.

Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Saying a Hail Mary as a Cincinnati Bengals fan is appropriate, as that immortal phrase has clear Cincinnati roots.

A recent article in the Catholic Telegraph explains:

In 1975, a devout Catholic athlete from Cincinnati and the Mother of Christ connected on the gridiron.
Roger Staubach, star Dallas Cowboys quarterback and Cincinnati Purcell High School graduate, was 50 yards from pay-dirt with 24 seconds to play in a National Football Conference (NFC) divisional playoff game against the Minnesota Viking at Minnesota.
It was fourth down. Staubach launched the ball toward wide receiver Drew Pearson.
“Hail Mary, full of grace….,” Staubach beseeched in prayer as he lofted the pigskin skyward. Pearson caught it: Touchdown! Victory!

Go here to learn how this one prayer went on to become a common place phrase in football.

Here’s to many successful “Hail Mary’s” from the Bengals this year!


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Posted by Sean Ater