Vols receive pep talk from Swann

By Wes Holtsclaw

   When you think of professional football and wide receivers in the 1970's, a common name that comes up is former Pittsburgh Steeler and NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann.
   The ABC sideline reporter was recently named Chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
   Swann, an Alcoa native, was in Blount County to recognize its improvement in wellness, and stopped by Tennessee's Orange and White game on Saturday to deliver a halftime pep talk to the squad.
   "This morning we had a fitness festival that the Blount Memorial Hospital sponsors called 'A Healthier Blount County,'" said Swann. "Adopting the President's program on a 'Healthier us, Healthier US.'"
   The President's program consists of four parts: Physical Fitness, eat a nutritious and balanced meal, avoid risky behavior and take advantage of health screenings.
   "Every day you should do something or exercise," Swann said. "A half hour for adults and sixty minutes for kids. It's important to utilize health screenings so you will know what your health value is."
   Swann spoke to the Volunteer footballers and they were very appreciative of his comments.
   "He was in and we called and asked if he could come to the game," said Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer. "Certainly we loved to have him. We asked him to speak to the team and he came in at halftime and did a heck of a job. He gave us a $10,000 speech in five minutes."
   "He talked about teams and living in the moment," he said. "He's 51 years old and would give anything to be back in a uniform. He talked about how much championship teams are remembered and how they remember each other."
   Swann was chatting with several players on the sidelines during the second half.
   "Some of the players have seen me on classic TV and some of the Super Bowl highlights and we were talking about that," said Swann. "Obviously, they have seen me covering college football and we were talking about the last time I covered a Tennessee football game, which was at the Fiesta Bowl when they defeated Florida State."
   The Hall of Famer enjoys his work with ABC, where he has reported for 25 years in various capacities, and watching young players develop.
   "I enjoy the game and being on the field watching the young players play and develop opportunities for teams to get to major bowl games and championships," he said. "It's the next best thing to being on the team, but there's nothing quite like being on the football team and being a part of what takes place on the field."
   The three time All-Pro and USC All-American played nine seasons with the Steelers, gaining 5,462 yards on 336 receptions with 51 scores. He was selected MVP in Super Bowl X with his four receptions for 161 yards and a score, including his 64-yard catch and run that defeated the Dallas Cowboys.
   He has held several NFL, postseason and Super Bowl records at the time of his retirement and still holds several Steelers records. He was named to the 1970s All-Decade team and the Super Bowl Silver Anniversary team.
   "I'm fortunate to have a lot of good memories," added Swann. "I don't know if there's one that's a single great memory from all the years I played for the Steelers."
   "I certainly remember and think fondly upon my experiences in the locker room with the players and my teammates," he said. "The championship games and having to opportunity to play and win those championship games. It means a lot to me."