God bless the Bolts: Hillsborough commissioner kicks off meeting with prayer for Tampa Bay Lightning (w/Video)
TAMPA -- Call it the Lord Stanley’s Prayer.
Hillsborough County commissioner Stacy White, who as the board’s chaplin opens each commission meeting with a prayer, started Wednesday’s a little differently than his usual call for peace throughout the county and wisdom for the board.
“Heavenly Father, we find ourselves today with game 3 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins upon us.,” White said, winning smirks and smiles from his colleagues. “Lord, as these fine athletes take to the ice to play this game, we want to thank you for the fact that our sports teams bring communities together in fellowship.”
White didn’t pray for Victor Hedman’s slapshots to be accurate, or for Jon Cooper’s line changes to be masterful or Jonathan Drouin to continue to play with maturity beyond his early-season self.
But he did ask for a bit of help with the recent spate of injuries that the Lightning have suffered.
“Lord, we also want to pray that for those players that have experienced injuries that you will be with them and help them to heal quickly, and Lord, we just pray that you will keep a watchful eye on all the players in that arena and protect them from injury.”
“Lord, win or lose,” he said, “we just want to ask for your blessings over both the communities of Tampa and Pittsburgh.”
Later, Commissioner Les Miller noted the bet on the outcome of the series he made with Allegheny County, Pa., Executive Rich Fitzgerald. In that friendly wager, both counties will collect donations for local veterans' organization throghout the Eastern Conference Finals. The county of the winning team will send a jersey to the other side and the loser has to wear that jersey when the donations are received.
"I want to let him know we will send him any color of the Lightning jersey he wants to Pittsburgh," Miller joked.