Pat Swilling and the connection between football and politics


Without a doubt, there’s a huge connection between football and politics. Numerous former football players have gone on to careers as politicians. On a national level, every football player turned career politician has been a Republican. Names like Steve Largent, Jack Kemp, J.J. Watts, Lynn Swann among others come to mind. There’s a lot work in that trend; especially the Social Darwinism of football as an ethos replicating itself in the basic weltanschauung of the GOP.

But that’s another topic for another time. I could write 5,000 words on that topic before even exhaling. In 2006, Heath Shuler (despite his obvious social conservatism) became the first football player turned Democrat to win a national office. Although John Edwards, cut from the team at Clemson, came close.

There have been some successful ex-football players to win office as Dems at the state and local level, including former New Orleans Saints All-Pro Pat Swilling, who served in the Louisiana state legislature.

I had an exclusive with Swilling on the day of his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

By Paul M. Banks

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