Pittsburgh has landed a new pro sports team and it will be owned by Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley.
The Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits in the new Professional Bowlers Association League will begin play in January. Woodley joins former Steeler Jerome Bettis, who owns the Motown Muscle team in Detroit. Other owners in the eight-team league are former NFL receiver Terrell Owens, Los Angeles Clippers player Chris Paul and actor/comedian Kevin Hart.
"Bowling is a personal pastime for me," said Woodley, a native of Saginaw, Mich, in a PBA press release. "I grew up bowling in my hometown of Saginaw and now I go with my teammates and friends in Pittsburgh. I was introduced to the PBA when I played in Chris Paul's charity event and got a firsthand look at how incredibly talented these athletes are, and I couldn't be more excited to be a celebrity owner in the first ever PBA League."
Woodley's team of bowlers are franchise player Osku Palermaa, Martin Larsen, former Saginaw Valley State All-American Dan MacLelland, Thomas Larsen, Patrick Allen and supplemental pick Anthony LaCaze.
"LaMarr is a proven winner and we are glad to have him on our side," said PBA Commissioner Tom Clark in the release. "There are some natural rivalries within the PBA League forming fast, including LaMarr's Pittsburgh team and Jerome Bettis' Motown squad. Plus, who in their right mind will dare make the ridiculous statement 'bowling isn't a sport' to Mr. Woodley?"
The eight teams that will make up the PBA League were determined through a draft that was conducted during the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling in November. ESPN will televise five weeks of PBA League competition beginning Jan. 27, plus the PBA League Elias Cup finals in April. The celebrity owners will not compete on the lanes as part of official PBA League competition.
The league debuts as part of the PBA Detroit Winter Swing Jan. 19-27 at Thunderbowl Lanes in the Detroit suburb of Allen Park, Mich. For a Detroit Winter Swing schedule click here.
Mike Machuga of Erie is a member of Owens' Dallas Strikers team.