Rodman on quest to meet pope

Dennis Rodman is on some kind of bizarre worldwide tour, and of course he had to make his way to Vatican City.

While there, he hoped to get an audience with the new pope, who was named Wednesday.

Meeting with The Worm surely is high on the priority list of things to do for Pope Francis:

1. Initiate church reforms.

2. Provide aid to the poor.

3. Find out what Rodman thinks.

You might ask why Rodman suddenly is showing up in the most unexpected places. He recently had a warm visit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who has threatened to nuke America.

Paddy Power, an Irish gambling company, is financing Rodman’s excursions.

“I want to be anywhere in the world that I’m needed,” the former NBA rebounding machine told TMZ. “I want to spread a message of peace and love throughout the world.”

Rodman told The Guardian, a United Kingdom newspaper, his favorite pope is John Paul II.

“He was cool as hell,” Rodman said. “He pretty much was like a pimp. Sitting up there … speaking like 20,000 different languages. … He was great for the world.”

Now the question is will Rodman show up somewhere else unexpected?

Is the pope Catholic?

■ TWEET AS THE ROMANS DO — White smoke still was billowing out of the Sistine Chapel when tweets predictably poured out.

Some were political in tone: Will there be white smoke should President Obama and the House Republicans agree on something?

Some were sports related. A sampling:

“White smoke! White smoke! (Darrelle) Revis has been traded!” — Mike Freeman,

“New Pope agrees to terms, pending a physical” — Chris Jenkins, former Sports Illustrated writer turned academician

“I see white smoke. Now waiting for a Hurricane to run through it.” — Michael Casagrande, Miami beat writer for the South Florida Sun Sentinel

“Sources say this time it went faster because conclave went with best pope available instead of drafting for need.” — Tim Kawakami, San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News

“Jim Gray will do first interview with the new pope.” — Stewart Mandel, Sports Illustrated

■ RETURN OF OLBERMANN? — Few question Keith Olbermann’s ability. When he and Dan Patrick co-hosted ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” it became must-watch TV for sports fans.

And when Olbermann hosted the highly liberal “Countdown” on MSNBC, even Republicans acknowledged his skill in espousing his beliefs.

But at ESPN and MSNBC, Olbermann wore out his welcome behind the scenes, using his talent as a bully pulpit.

And now, much to many ESPN employees’ chagrin, Olbermann could be headed back to the network. ESPN president John Skipper is behind the move, The Big Lead reported.

And the website said Skipper should be careful what he wishes for, writing that “if Olbermann dresses down employees and curses out production assistants, a source at ESPN texted me, ‘you know that hours later, it’s going to end up on your site or Deadspin.’ ”

Olbermann is a ratings magnet, but like a shooting star, he burns out quickly.


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