It sounds like the beginning of a dumb joke -- "A Cardinal and a Steeler walk into a bar ..."
But that's exactly what happened over the past week at watering hole in the Eternal City.
Giovanni Poggi, proprietor of La Botticella, a Steelers bar in Rome for more than a decade has played host to seemingly every single tourist to Rome with a Pittsburgh connection, finally got a pop-in from an actual member of the team last week.
Linebacker Lawrence Timmons recently restructured his contract but had enough change leftover to enjoy a European vacation this offseason made an impromptu visit at Poggi's bar last Wednesday. Timmons signed a few autographs and posed for some very suprised Pittsburgh ex-pats and tourists and Duquesne students studying abroad.
"Finally our first Pittsburgh Steeler at La Botticella Lawrence Timmons in the house," Poggi wrote on his Facebook page, along with the photo above right.
And while the Steelers have near-religious status in Pittsburgh, just today Poggi was visited by an actual Pittsburgh man of the cloth, as he posted on his Facebook page (right).
"Got a surprising visit today from His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl, he will be one of the voting Cardinals in the Conclave tomorrow and is a native of Mount Washington in Pittsburgh," Poggi wrote.
A Steeler and a Cardinal within the same week. No word if the 'combination' of the two -- Steelers tight end Leonard <wait for it ...> Pope -- is going to stop by too.