NEW YORK. The heads of the world's principal religions have agreed to establish an international pecking order by a sudden-death game of "One Potato, Two Potato" to be held at United Nations Headquarters during half-time of the NFL's Super Bowl game in January.
"It's time for Islam to put up or shut up," said Pope Benedict XVI, the titular head of the Roman Catholic Church who started a firestorm with a quote from a Byzantine Emperor who said "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find only sensitive foreplay with camels."
Dinner and a movie first.
Before the Pope reaches the Ultimate Faith Finals he must first make it past The Archbishop of Canterbury in the Christianity Division Championship Game. "The road to the UN runs through Canterbury Cathedral, Jack," said Rowan Williams, the incumbent Archbishop, "and that ain't just talkin' smack." Home-field advantage for the playoffs will be determined by the regular-season records of the two dominant Christian sects, with a "wild card" slot open for small-market teams such as Mormonism.
Home field advantage.
Tenzin, the 14th Dalai Lama and current head of Tibetan Buddhism, is the odds-on favorite to advance to the finals from the league's Eastern Division. "The Dalai Lama is a cagey veteran," said Sean Thompson, an NFL Today reporter who covers regular season one potato-two potato games. "One time he pitched a shutout by asking 'What is the sound of one kid playing one-potato?' right before a match started--it blew everybody away."
"Take the points on the road, but don't bet against the Dalai."
Since there is no official elected head of the Jewish faith New York comedian Jackie Mason will square off against Muslim cleric Omar Bakri in the Mideast Regional Semis.
"Do I know potatoes? Like a ratzelech, my friend!"
"What's the worst that could happen?" Mason asked with a characteristic shrug of the shoulders. "A fatwa for a couple of wisecracks? It's not like I'm a cartoonist or something."
"This is how you start."
The contest was suggested by former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a U.S. Army General who as Secretary of State under President George W. Bush was viewed as a "dove" who preferred diplomacy to military action. "We can't act as playground monitor for the entire world," Powell said in a telephone interview. "If we do, we'll end up having to stay after recess to pick up the balls and bats and jump ropes every day."
Copyright 2006, Con Chapman