Rendell blew him off when he said hello and offered the governor his hand in an
elevator at Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field, where they had gone for an
Eagles game one Monday night last season. Rendell says he just didn't see
Swann. "I keep hearing about what a nice man he is, how warm he is,"
Swann says of his opponent. "I guess something happens when I'm
When they worked
the Pennsylvania Farm Show on the same day last month, Swann and Rendell did
meet briefly and shook hands. There was nothing like a swarm of people around
either man, but more people wanted Swann's autograph than wanted the
governor's. Rendell says that if he could interview Swann, the one thing he'd
ask is, "What was Chuck Noll really like?" The Steelers' old coach was
an enigma. When Rendell's question is relayed to Swann, the former player
flashes his candidate's smile, pauses for several seconds and says, "A lot
of people would like to know that."
Rendell says that
Swann, as a retired athlete, "would have to be inhuman not to miss the
applause. Lynn will find that same kind of reward in politics, if he stays in
it." But Swann, already wearing his game face, doesn't want career advice
from Rendell. The incumbent is now just another guy to beat, and a
quarter-million people were applauding for Swann just the other day.
governor's race--the athlete versus the fan--is on.