The Two-Way
8:43 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Pope Francis Is Now 'Papa Crow' To His Favorite Soccer Club

Talk about having a powerful hincha on your side.

As the website of Buenos Aires soccer club San Lorenzo declares, the team now has "Papa Cuervo" (Papa Crow) among its card-carrying fans.

"Los Cuervos" ("the crows") is one of the San Lorenzo club's nicknames (others include "El Ciclón" or "the Cyclone"). And the man who on Wednesday night changed from Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio to Pope Francis, is indeed an official card-carrying supporter of that Argentine Primera División team.

On Morning Edition today, Thomson/Reuters correspondent Hugh Bronstein said then-Cardinal Bergoglio was known in recent years to "talk about the team's performance the night before" as he would ride the bus to work.

Will having a pope among its faithful help San Lorenzo? The team could use some inspiration. One of Argentina's "big five" clubs, it won the league title in 2007. But, as The Independent writes, "the last few seasons have not been happy ones as the club has come perilously close to relegation" (demotion to a lower-level league). The team is now 12th in the 20-team league.

The Crows' next match: Saturday's away game Colón de Santa Fe.

The team's next home game: March 31 against Newell's Old Boys from Rosario.

The 31st is Easter Sunday. Given who their No. 1 fan is, we expect quite a scene.

Three bits of related trivia:

-- The San Lorenzo team was founded in 1908 "on the initiative of a group of young people in collaboration with the Salesian priest Lorenzo Massa."

-- Actor Viggo Mortensen is now perhaps San Lorenzo's second most famous fan.

-- The other four teams in Argentina's "big five" are: Boca Juniors; Independiente; Racing; and River Plate. They're five old, well-established clubs.

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