Lynn Swann's Super Bowl Win

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As Jerome Bettis and the Pittsburgh Steelers closed the book on a storybook season at Super Bowl XL in Detroit Sunday, the season of another Steelers legend was just kicking into high gear.

Lynn Swann, the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player 30 years ago, is hoping to capture the Republican Party's official endorsement this Saturday in the Pennsylvania governor's race—an endorsement that has traditionally locked up the Republican primary election, which will be held in May of this year. And judging by the overwhelming support for Swann's Steelers last night at Ford Field, any potential challenger might consider throwing in their Terrible Towel.

"Certainly the Steelers being [in this Super Bowl] puts a lot of attention on the history of the team," said Swann, who received one of the loudest cheers of the entire night during a pregame ceremony honoring past Super Bowl MVPs. "People have been seeing old clips of mine and that's good going against an incumbent."

The Steelers 21-10 victory over Seattle meant current Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell won a bushel of apples from Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire. But for Rendell's likely challenger in the November election, this Steelers victory could mean a whole lot more.

Swann is attempting what another NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver—and a former Seattle Seahawk no less—failed to do just four years ago. Steve Largent, one of the NFL's all-time leading receivers and a former Oklahoma congressman, lost his Oklahoma gubernatorial bid in 2002 despite initially being considered the favorite. But Swann has certainly gotten off to a good start, even before the Steelers' stunning championship run. He is leading his main opponent, former Lieutenant Governor Bill Scranton, in an ongoing straw poll of GOP state committee members. Scranton has also had to spend quite a bit of time lately distancing himself from a racial gaffe made by his former campaign manager, who said on a talk show that Swann, who is black, was "the rich white guy in this campaign."

As for Bettis, the Hall of Fame-bound fullback may soon be looking for a new line of work after ending his 13-year football career with a Super Bowl victory in his hometown of Detroit. But unlike Swann, it won't be in politics. "No way, not at all! I've got no interest," declared Bettis inside the celebratory locker room, where he lingered long after most of his teammates had left the stadium.

Swann, however, felt much the same way following Super Bowl X. "I would dare say that 30 years ago, few people would have said that Lynn Swann would be running for governor one day," said Swann. "I certainly didn't know it at the time." The important thing is, virtually every Steelers fan knows it now.