NFL Legacies: Lynn Swan

The Life And Career Of NFL Legend Lynn Swan

There are some people out there who will know Lynn Swan as a politician and not as a football player. However, Swan did spend 8 years playing the sport and had a surprisingly successful career during that time.

During his 8 year NFL career, Swan won the Super Bowl 4 times with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was also named a Super Bowl MVP and was invited to the Pro Bowl 3 times.

Today, we are going to look at the life and career so far of Lynn Swan.

The College Years

Swan went to the University of Southern California on a football scholarship in 1971. He majored in Public Relations.  Here he was captained by John McKay and led the team to an undefeated season and national championship in 1972.

He led the team in receiving yards in both 1971 and 1972. In 1972, he was named to the All-American team. In his college years, his personal best was 27 catches for 543 yards – which he did in 1972.

Swan was one of the most successful Wide Receivers to play for the Trojans at the University of Southern California.

The NFL Years

Swan entered the Draft in 1974. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round and was picked 21st overall. Swan played all 8 years of his career with the Steelers. He played with 88 on his jersey.

In 1974, the Steelers won the Super Bowl. The match was difficult and none of their players performed particularly well, Swan included. In the regular season, however, Swan led the league in punts returned with 517 – this is a franchise record and is the 4th highest single-season score in the NFL.

The Steelers won the Super Bowl again, in 1975. This season was the best season of Swan’s career. He set a personal record with 49 passes for 781 yards. He also led the league in touchdowns – with 11. Despite being knocked out and hospitalized during the AFC final game that year, Swan made catches for a Super Bowl-record 161 yards and scored a touchdown to help the Steelers win the match.

He was named the Super Bowl MVP that year and was the first-ever Wide Receiver to win the title.

3 seasons later, in 1978,  the Steelers won the Super Bowl again. In this match, Swan caught seven passes for 124 yards and scored the final touchdown. They won 35-31, so Swan was responsible for this victory.

In 1978, set a personal best of 880receiving yards in a single season. He also scored 11 touchdowns that season.

The Steelers also won the Super Bowl in 1979 – their second double in the decade. In this match, Swan caught five passes for 79 yards and a touchdown. This was the last time he would play in the Super Bowl.

With another Super Bowl on the horizon, many people are wondering if we will see another Wide Receiver thrive under the pressure as Swan did? If you are interested in finding out more about NFL Super Bowl prop bets and odds for 2022, you can do it here.

When Swan retired in 1982, he held the records for both most receiving yards in Super Bowl matches and most all-purpose yards.

After the NFL

As we mentioned at the start of this article, Lynn Swan might be more famous for his attempted political career than his football one – despite the fact that he won the Super Bowl 4 times.

In  2002, President George W. Bush appointed Swan as the chairman of the United States President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. He led many drives to improve the health of politicians and American citizens during this time.

In 2006 he ran for governor. He was one of only three black men to run that year and all three of them lost. However, Swan has shown multiple times that he still holds a lot of influence in the world of politics and is still asked which presidential candidates he will be endorsing during each election.

Like many other NFL players, Swan found himself investing in a rival company called the AFL (Arena Football League). Swan was a co-owner of the Pittsburgh Power. The league folded in 2019, but the Pittsburgh Power folded long before in 2014. They were the newest team in the league.

Swan has done a lot of commentary work for ABC since leaving the NFL in 1982. He hasn’t just commented on football, but he has also worked on programs covering horse racing, sled racing, and a few other odd sports.

Swan had a small role in Adam Sandler’s film The Waterboy.

In 2016, he took over the role of the athletic director of the University of Southern California. He resigned 3 years later.

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