Thursday, June 25, 2009 | midnight
Beyond the Sun
Eight years after earning a bronze bust in Canton, Ohio, Lynn Swann is a Hall-of-Famer once again.
Only this time Swann received the eternal honor not for catching footballs, but for rolling bowling balls.
The four-time Super Bowl champion was inducted into the Celebrities Exhibit at The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame Wednesday morning at a ceremony inside Mandalay Bay Convention Center as part of the International Bowl Expo 2009.
Swann, who began bowling as a child in San Mateo, Calif., earned his spot in the Bowling Hall of Fame for his life-long promotion of the sport and his charitable fundraising efforts through bowling.
"This is a great honor," said Swann, who received an engraved crystal bowling pin to commemorate his induction. "This is really honoring the groups I work with and they deserve it."
In addition to hosting the NFL Super Bowl Celebrity Bowling Classic for the last three years, Swann has also spent more than 30 years volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
As a member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Directors, Swann has helped raise millions of dollars through the Bowl for Kids Sake program.
Along with his charitable work, Swann helped usher bowling's return to network television when he served as the lane-side reporter for CBS' "Clash of Champions" in 2008.
"Today is a wonderful recognition for being a part of solid programs," said Swann, a three-time Pro Bowler with the Pittsburgh Steelers. "I thank the NFL and Big Brothers Big Sisters for allowing me to spearhead those particular bowling programs. They've been wonderful experiences and I hope to help those charities and the sport of bowling to continue to grow."
Swann is the third inductee into the celebrity exhibit at the Bowling Hall of Fame, which recently relocated from St. Louis to Arlington, Tex. He joins former MLB pitcher Tom Candiotti and fellow Steeler Jerome Bettis in the bowling shrine.
Bettis and Swann have never bowled together.
"I know Jerome has bowled a perfect game before," Swann said. "I'm nowhere near that score, but I'm always up for a challenge."
Although Swann is no stranger to Las Vegas since he is on the Board of Directors for Harrah's Entertainment, the former Monday Night Football broadcaster said he does not usually bowl here.
Swann did crown the Paradise Island Bowling Center in Pittsburgh as his favorite set of lanes.
"They have a great set up at Paradise Island and it's a great place to be with the family," Swann said. "Bowling is a fun way to be competitive and social at the same time, which is why a lot of athletes take up the sport much like golf."
After his induction ceremony Wednesday, Swann retreated to a meeting room with Bowling Expo keynote speaker Senator Fred Thompson – a clear reminder of Swann's political aspirations.
In 2006, Swann ran for Governor of Pennsylvania on the Republican ticket, losing to Democratic incumbent Ed Rendell. In 2008 Swann then floated the idea of running for U.S. Congress, but never launched an official campaign.
As of now, the former chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports said he is staying out of the political arena.
"Right now I'm focusing on my family and the charities and businesses that I'm involved with," Swann said. "I'll keep my focus on that for the moment. I'm not sure what the future holds beyond that."
Steve Silver can be reached at 948-7822 or [email protected].