The Rev. David Bonnar, Catholic chaplain to the Steelers since 1997, had an early experience with prayer’s perceived influence on the game. At one of his first team Masses he asked for prayer requests, and former lineman Jim Sweeney said he thought they should pray for their opponents, the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys promptly trounced the Steelers.

At the next Mass, ex-backup quarterback Mike Tomczak made his own request: “I’d like to suggest that this week we not pray for our opponents.”

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