03/14/2013 04:34 pm ET Updated May 14, 2013

That Other 'Bowl' Game in New Orleans

With Super Bowl XLVII a month removed from the calendar, football fans witnessed one of the greatest sporting events of the year -- and what a game it was. What many people might not realize, however, are all the things the Super Bowl game brings to a host city, along with the promise of a good game -- a stimulated local economy, an excited and passionate energy among the community and visitors alike, and a sense of camaraderie and goodwill for a greater cause.

This year, many NFL legends participated in the 8th Annual Super Bowl Celebrity Bowling Classic presented by the NFL Foundation, one of the premiere annual events that is part of the Super Bowl that lends itself to a great cause. This event has turned into something I look forward to every year -- almost as much as I look forward to the Super Bowl itself!

I know what you're thinking -- bowling and football may not necessarily seem like they go hand in hand, but both sports are two of our nation's greatest pastimes -- pure Americana. While football's popularity manifests itself in the Super Bowl, the popularity of bowling continues to rapidly grow - bowling is the nation's number one participatory sport, with over 71 million people taking to the lanes annually.

It only seemed natural then, to pair the two up -- a tradition that started in 2006. The Celebrity Bowling Classic has helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to help the NFL's charitable foundation contribute collectively (on behalf of its 32 member clubs) to charitable causes on a national level. The Celebrity Bowling Classic has grown in popularity each year; the continued success of the tournament speaks to the tremendous fundraising power of bowling and the solidarity of the bowling industry.

In this year's Super Bowl Celebrity Bowling Classic, fans got a chance to bowl side-by-side with former NFL legends at the AMF All Star Lanes in Kenner, Louisiana to raise money for the cause. It's a way for both the fans AND the players to give back to the NFL Foundation, a great partner to the bowling industry, in a meaningful way.

As this year's host, I was so happy for the chance to be able to bridge together two of my favorite "bowls." Between the city of New Orleans, NFL Foundation and the bowling industry, I think everyone came out a winner this year!