View Full Version : Playing pick-up with a legend

02-27-2010, 09:20 AM
(Totally cool story here. It will make you proud to be a Steeler fan! - mesa)

Playing pick-up with a legend
Dan bickley

We've all been there. Maybe it's at the mall. Maybe it's at the gym. Maybe it's happy hour at a hopping restaurant.

You look up, and suddenly, you're in the presence of a celebrity.

"I saw this guy in the crowd," said Camden Leiva, a 10-year old Phoenix resident attending his sister's volleyball tournament in Maryvale. "I said, 'Dad, isn't that Troy Polamalu?' "

Jeff Leiva found the Steelers star in the crowd He nodded in agreement.

"We're big Cardinals fans," he said. "We both watch a lot of football. My son has seen the Head & Shoulders commercials. But he had his hair pulled back tighter than you normally see on television."

The father immediately preached restraint. But when Polamalu headed for the concession stand, Camden made his move. A picture ensued. So did a small army of children requesting signatures, and it appears that Polamalu couldn't have been a better sport.:tt04::tt04::tt04::tt04:

"He sat there for like 20 people, taking pictures, signing things," Jeff said. "Some guys will charge you for that stuff. But he signed everything from shirts to napkins."

And then Polamalu had a better idea. He gathered up some of the kids and headed outside for a game of pick-up football.:tt03::tt03::tt03:

"My son disappeared for like 30 minutes, and when I went outside, I couldn't believe what I saw," Jeff said. "They were playing football on this narrow strip of pavement. Troy was diagramming plays for the kids. He was the designated quarterback."

Imagine that.

"He told us a bunch of plays in the huddle. He told me to run a fly route," Camden said. "And I caught it for a touchdown."

They played on until one of the teams reached eight touchdowns. Then Polamalu returned inside, apparently to watch his niece play volleyball, leaving behind a wake of stunned young athletes.

"We were all saying, 'Oh my God, we just played football with a NFL player!' " Camden said.

Since then, young Camden can't stop talking about Polamalu. He is currently badgering his father for a Polamalu jersey, unconcerned that his new hero once conspired against the Cardinals in the Super Bowl. And there's only one small problem:

Every time Camden tells his friends about the story, they all roll their eyes. Yeah, right.

"They don't believe me," Camden said.

Maybe this will help. (see URL for picture - mesa)

Nadroj 20
02-27-2010, 09:59 AM
That is so cool. Can you imagine being those kids?!?!

Troy is such a great guy and yea it makes me proud to be a steeler fan and to see such an awesome guy in the black and gold!!

M.C. Smith
02-27-2010, 10:14 AM
Awesome story, Troy seems to be such a genuine person. I can't wait until I meet him in March! :tt02:

02-27-2010, 10:58 AM
He's the REAL DEAL. I've heard other stories about Troy. What a great guy and a blessing to have on our team.

02-27-2010, 11:03 AM
Thanks for the story. This is just another example of why Troy is such a great person. Other professional athletes need to take notes.

steel striker
02-27-2010, 06:11 PM
Wow that is so cool and, it shows what kind of a person Troy is. I bet he made all of those lucky kids day forever. Nice read.

02-27-2010, 06:45 PM
omg lucky kid.....that type of experience would make my childhood.

02-27-2010, 06:48 PM
omg lucky kid.....that type of experience would make my childhood.

You're right, that is something that will stay with him for a lifetime. Just think when Troy gets in the Hall, that kid will be able to say that not only has he met him, but he has also played a pick up game of back yard football with him.

God bless you Troy. Keep being a saint!

02-27-2010, 06:57 PM

02-27-2010, 07:28 PM
Very classy guy! :applaudit:

Carolina Steelers
02-27-2010, 07:48 PM
WOW!! its nice to hear stories like this. Troy is a great player on the field but even a better man off the field

02-27-2010, 08:05 PM
What a class act. A devil (tazmanian) on the field, an angel off the field. :hatsoff:

02-27-2010, 08:09 PM
It's seems the rest of the world is finally figuring out what we already knew......Troy is a very special human being.

Northside Jonny
02-27-2010, 08:47 PM
Just another reason Troy will be an instant Hall of Famer . Great Player Great Person

02-27-2010, 09:55 PM
And also, it's amazing that this story of joy is coming from a CARDINALS fan

Northside Jonny
02-27-2010, 10:12 PM
"Cardinals suck" LenDale White

02-27-2010, 10:43 PM
I'm seriously envious of those kids----if only Troy would come out for any of the backyard games we have at work every friday.

Galax Steeler
03-01-2010, 03:27 AM
Just goes to show you what kind of class Troy has.

Stu Pidasso
03-03-2010, 11:35 AM
A friend of mine told me a story about how they were eating dinner at a Pittsburgh restaurant, when they saw Troy and his wife walk in and sat at a table. The place was packed, as well. All through their dinner, NO ONE interrupted them eating, they enjoyed a quiet evening to themselves. After they were done, they left, and a few minutes later the manager went to each table and told them that Troy thanks them all for the peaceful meal, and paid for everyone's dinner in the restaurant.

Steelers fans and Steeler players are the classiest, best people alive. Makes me proud to be a fan.

03-04-2010, 12:37 PM
Have said it many times in many threads, there are few role models now days in sports but Troy is at the top of the list of athletes I would like my kids to look up to....

Thats the highest complimnet I could pay someone .... I think.

03-04-2010, 12:52 PM
It's seems the rest of the world is finally figuring out what we already knew......Troy is a very special human being.

Couldn't have said it better

how Cool! Not only did they get to take a photo with him, but they got to play football with him----what a Great Lifetime Experience

Stu Pidasso
03-04-2010, 01:37 PM
ROFL I was just thinking it was a good thing he was designated QB. It would have SUCKED for the kids if he was defending passes... :)

03-04-2010, 02:24 PM
This is why Troy is my favorite player in the NFL.