If the election of the new pope of the Catholic Church has you going mad with anticipation, a company from Iowa, evolutiontees.com, has just what you need.
With the election in just about a month, the company has jumped into the spring spirit and produced a NCAA Tournament styled March Madness bracket for Catholocism cheerleaders, with the "champion" serving as the next pope.
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Based on Vegas odds, Evolution has the top 16 candidates squaring off in a bracket challenge that starts with the "Sweet Sisteen" and funnels down into an "Ecumenical Eight," "Flagellant Four," and "Diocese Duo" before the "Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church" is crowned.
According to the bracket, Ghana's Peter Turkson is the number one seed with the best odds to win at 3:1. Also favored are Nigeria's Francis Arinze (4:1) and Italy's Angelo Scola (4:1). However, if you're looking for a true underdog story, look no further than Dyersville's Francis J.L. Beckman who is given 100:1 odds at shocking the world and winning the papacy.
Timothy Dolan represents the United States with 33:1 odds, but faces a tough "Sweet Sistine" round challenge in Nigeria's Arinze. Hey, maybe if Americans are lucky another "do you believe in miracles?" moment could be on our hands.
If you're looking to research, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli, (who covers the Vatican) might be able to help you pick the winner correctly. She has concluded that the next pope will more than likely be a European, like nearly all the others, and that Italy's 71-year-old Cardinal Scola is the true leading contender. While I wouldn't endorse going out and betting on the 'Sweet Sistine' bracket challenge, there's probably not a better way to make an upcoming March event more interesting than filling out a bracket.
Go fill out one out and let us know what you think of the idea with a comment.
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