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83-Steelers-43
08-01-2006, 08:58 AM
Polamalu's unique spirit uplifting for Steelers, fans
Tuesday, August 01, 2006

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Citizens of Western Pennsylvania already know the Steelers can lift spirits, but can these Super Bowl champions save lives?

All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu, speaking in the type of calming tones of a Benedictine monk on the Saint Vincent College campus in Latrobe, proclaimed yesterday that Steelers indeed not only can save lives but they do. He has seen it, and not the kind where they use the Heimlich Maneuver.

Merely walking into a room where a Steelers fan is on his death bed can improve the health of that person, Polamalu said, and it's an uplifting experience.

"You can truly save people's lives like that," Polamalu said. "I've been in situations where people are at home and getting ready to die, doctors have given up on them, you know?"

But after a visit by Polamalu, he has seen the deathly ill improve to the point where "they've been living for, like, three, four months already.

"It's really beautiful in that way that you can affect people. In some ways, football is life here in Pittsburgh, it's their only hope. It's cool to affect people in that way."

By now, most Steelers fans -- in various stages of physical health -- know that Polamalu thinks, talks, trains and plays differently than the average pro football player. He's a California native, but that doesn't fully explain it. His approach to football and life follow on a different path than most athletes, and he's not afraid to express himself.

He refrains from lifting weights for the most part and he has ridiculed the NFL training camp routines along with one of the league's major corporate sponsors, Gatorade. He swiped again at the drink yesterday saying that the Steelers training staff does not give him any guidelines "besides spreading their Gatorade propaganda."

Polamalu may be the best Steelers defensive back since Rod Woodson and he's definitely the most unique with his long hair covering the name on the back of his jersey, and the extraordinary way he plays the position of strong safety, one that landed him in the past two Pro Bowls.

One more unique thing to him: Here is a Californian who prefers to live in Pittsburgh (he prefers Troy Hill over Nob Hill). He and his wife, Theodora, spent all summer at their North Hills home, venturing only on one three-day trip to California. It does not all have to do with the hills and rivers here, although he enjoys the fly-fishing. He derives much of his pleasure within the confines of the Steelers' UPMC facility on the South Side and at Heinz Field.

"I told my wife, around my second year, that there's no better place to be than here in Pittsburgh," said Polamalu, starting his fourth training camp. "That's one thing Pittsburgh has over everybody else is this camaraderie of this team and the great coaching situation, how coach Cowher takes care of you, the training staff and the ownership."

The popularity of Steelers players -- with him among a handful of the most admired -- does have its drawbacks.

"It's pretty hard to go out here without getting hassled too much," Polamalu said. "When I go out in California, people could care less, even if you're a Tom Cruise, unless you're a paparazzi. And, they don't follow football. They're not a big fan of football like they are out here.

"It stinks in a way if you're eating dinner and people are bothering you, but it's beautiful in a way when you have a kid who has only five days to live and the biggest thing in his life is wanting to meet a Steeler. That's where it's positive. It's happened to me a few times and it's really awesome to affect people's lives."

His own was affected on the field when free safety Chris Hope, a fellow 2002 draft choice, left as a free agent in March.

"We went through scout team together my rookie year and breaking into the starting lineup, so we learned everything together and won a Super Bowl together," Polamalu said.

"We got to a point where Chris and I didn't even have to talk. I got to do what I do and he just reacted to it. To form that type of relationship is tough, being how different a safety that I am. You really can't practice at it unless you're on the field playing 11 on 11 or in these preseason games."

A trio of players will compete to join him in the defensive backfield: Tyrone Carter, Ryan Clark, and rookie Anthony Smith. Whoever it is can expect Polamalu to pursue the same kind of style that has turned him into a linchpin of the Steelers' defense, something fans -- in good health and poor -- can appreciate.

"I feel I approach what I do and my living as a football player the way they do, in this blue-collar mentality," Polamalu said. "That's a term thrown around a lot, but to say it and live it and to experience it -- even though it's a high-paying job like a football player -- it's no different to a hard-paying construction worker, a landscaper. It's a blue-collar mentality."

83-Steelers-43
08-01-2006, 09:15 AM
Also, last night on Sports Beat, Troy Polamalu denied all reports of him not resigning when his contract is up with the Steelers in order to play on the west coast. He stated the total opposite actually. He wants to be a Steeler as long as possible.

HometownGal
08-01-2006, 09:18 AM
What an incredibly heartwarming story! :smile: I know first-hand what Troy is saying is completely true, as for the last several years, I have been volunteering twice a month at a local hospital reading to terminally ill children and have personally met and witnessed many Steelers, Pirates and Penguins players who visit these children, spend hours playing with them, reading to them, even holding them. You would not believe the powerful positive impact it has on these kids and how that experience can prolong their lives even if for just a little while. Kudos to Troy and all of the other professional athletes who reach into their big hearts to give a part of themselves to these children! :bouncy:

BlackNGold203
08-01-2006, 09:22 AM
Troy is so freakin cool......:cool:


He is the antithesis of the modern day millionaire athelete...humble....softspoken...spiritual...what a breath of fresh air he is!!!

We are so lucky to have him...I know the Rooneys will take care of him...

Troy Polamalu...Steeler for life!!!!!

Atlanta Dan
08-01-2006, 11:42 AM
Also, last night on Sports Beat, Troy Polamalu denied all reports of him not resigning when his contract is up with the Steelers in order to play on the west coast. He stated the total opposite actually. He wants to be a Steeler as long as possible.

Troy may be the exception to the rule, but IMO every pro athlete says they want to stay with their current team until they sign with someone else. It is all about the $$$.

Does Troy's contract run out at the end of the 2007 season? If so, we hopefully will not be very nervous this time next year, since I do not recall any Steeler unrestricted FA staying if a new contract was not signed prior to the start of the regular season for their last contract year (tick-tock/tick-tock on Ike Taylor right now)

Signing Troy and Ben probably is going to require cutbacks somewhere else. Hope it will not be the O-Line.

SteelerFanInCA
08-01-2006, 12:21 PM
Troy is the man. Hopefully he keeps that same mind set when it comes time to extend his contract.

Jeremy
08-01-2006, 12:28 PM
Interesting......very interesting indeed.

It seems as though the Steelers have been able to capture an almost collegiate enviroment in their locker room where players feel like they're part of a team rather than just part of a bsuiness. It's very telling that someone like Troy would rather stay in Pittsburgh than live in LA during the off season.

Atlanta Dan
08-01-2006, 12:36 PM
Not to mention that Troy has discovered the power of the Steeler Force:

"Merely walking into a room where a Steelers fan is on his death bed can improve the health of that person, Polamalu said, and it's an uplifting experience.

"You can truly save people's lives like that," Polamalu said. "I've been in situations where people are at home and getting ready to die, doctors have given up on them, you know?"

But after a visit by Polamalu, he has seen the deathly ill improve to the point where "they've been living for, like, three, four months already."

So I guess we can start wearing bracelets that ask WWTD? (What Would Troy Do?) :)

83-Steelers-43
08-01-2006, 04:19 PM
Troy may be the exception to the rule, but IMO every pro athlete says they want to stay with their current team until they sign with someone else. It is all about the $$$.

I'm not disagreeing with you there. Hell, if I was Troy Polamalu and knowing I'm the best safety in the NFL, I would want top dollar as well. But his reponse was directed at the rumors going around the net stating that he intends to leave the Steelers (no what the Steelers offer) simply because he wants to play on the west coast which is comforting to know. Shooting down a rumor.

memphissteelergirl
08-01-2006, 04:34 PM
Troy is so freakin cool......:cool:


He is the antithesis of the modern day millionaire athelete...humble....softspoken...spiritual...what a breath of fresh air he is!!!

We are so lucky to have him...I know the Rooneys will take care of him...

Troy Polamalu...Steeler for life!!!!!


Hear, here! I hope and pray :hope: Troy stays with the Steelers for his entire career!

Haiku_Dirtt
08-01-2006, 05:47 PM
Also, last night on Sports Beat, Troy Polamalu denied all reports of him not resigning when his contract is up with the Steelers in order to play on the west coast. He stated the total opposite actually. He wants to be a Steeler as long as possible.

Polamalu playing on the west coast? Where in the hell do these reporters get this crap? He has some family in Oregon California and on Maui but so what. Manufacturing news.

Haiku_Dirtt
08-01-2006, 05:56 PM
What an incredibly heartwarming story! :smile: I know first-hand what Troy is saying is completely true, as for the last several years, I have been volunteering twice a month at a local hospital reading to terminally ill children and have personally met and witnessed many Steelers, Pirates and Penguins players who visit these children, spend hours playing with them, reading to them, even holding them. You would not believe the powerful positive impact it has on these kids and how that experience can prolong their lives even if for just a little while. Kudos to Troy and all of the other professional athletes who reach into their big hearts to give a part of themselves to these children! :bouncy:

Props to you. My father worked at Children's and he told me often how its effects the spirit positively which is therapeutic.

Troy is surreal.

tony hipchest
08-01-2006, 06:31 PM
the steelers have a stubborn approach of not negotiating with any player who has more than a year left on their contract. it has worked and it has been the fiscally responsible way of doing business. i know they dont want to open a can of worms or induce other players to start holding out with several years on their existing contract but if anyone in the whole league deserves a payraise it is t. polamalu. now im not saying they should extend him now (even though it would save money in the longrun) but he should be paid as the highest safety when his time comes. if that means letting a lineman (not faneca) or linebacker go and throwing youngsters into the fire than so be it. other teams seem to do okay with rookie linemen. rookies like s. merriman, d. ware, and l. tatupu, even kendrell bell showed they could hold their own.

troy is the best thing in the steelers secondary since rod woodson and i dont wanna watch him leading other teams to the superbowl. remember when concussions was his downfall (the 1 knock on him coming out of college)? it hasnt happened. if he wants he can probably be a 12-15 year starter like r. harrison and a hall of famer.

83-Steelers-43
08-01-2006, 06:34 PM
I don't care what they have to do. Get him signed long-term. Troy is something special and the scary part is the fact that he's still learning.

SteelersMongol
08-01-2006, 06:43 PM
Troy may be the exception to the rule, but IMO every pro athlete says they want to stay with their current team until they sign with someone else. It is all about the $$$.

Does Troy's contract run out at the end of the 2007 season? If so, we hopefully will not be very nervous this time next year, since I do not recall any Steeler unrestricted FA staying if a new contract was not signed prior to the start of the regular season for their last contract year (tick-tock/tick-tock on Ike Taylor right now)

Signing Troy and Ben probably is going to require cutbacks somewhere else. Hope it will not be the O-Line.

Nice post, 83-43! Thank you.

Atlanta, but we're talking about Troy, the man who is humbler than some of the Buddhist monks I know of. :smile: This is the guy who drives Kia. I hope they keep Troy till at least 2020. :smile:

hardwork
08-01-2006, 07:01 PM
I know first-hand what Troy is saying is completely true, as for the last several years, I have been volunteering twice a month at a local hospital reading to terminally ill children and have personally met and witnessed many Steelers, Pirates and Penguins players who visit these children, spend hours playing with them, reading to them, even holding them.

Good for them, and for you. That's a great thing you're doing, and I bet you learn a lot from those kids.

Atlanta Dan
08-01-2006, 07:04 PM
Nice post, 83-43! Thank you.

Atlanta, but we're talking about Troy, the man who is humbler than some of the Buddhist monks I know of. :smile: This is the guy who drives Kia. I hope they keep Troy till at least 2020. :smile:

I am not saying Troy is a money grubbing mercenary who will play for a nickel more anywhere else - it would be great if he was a lifetime Steeler.

But as those of us who have followed the Steelers for decades know, this team has a rep of playing hardball in negotiations with everyone, even the All-Pros, with the only recent exceptions I can recall being when they splurged, to their regret, on C. Scott & D. Washington.

If the Steelers attempt to play hardball in negotiations with Troy (we are talking about the team that declared Hines Ward to be priority #1 last year and then had a potentially ruinous holdout) it is unreasonable to expect Troy to stay simply because he likes western PA and that "lowball" offer still would be beyond the wildest dream of any NFL player 10 years ago. Combine that with a break the bank offer from somewhere else, together with the potential uncertainty of playing for a new HC if Cowher leaves after this season, and all I am saying is don't count anything until the new contract is signed.

"The Steeler Way" works pretty well but waiting until the last year of a contract to negotiate a new contract with potential free agents creates a steady stream of anxiety that I have no reason to believe will not recur when it is time for Troy to make a deal.

Haiku_Dirtt
08-02-2006, 06:05 AM
I am not saying Troy is a money grubbing mercenary who will play for a nickel more anywhere else - it would be great if he was a lifetime Steeler.

But as those of us who have followed the Steelers for decades know, this team has a rep of playing hardball in negotiations with everyone, even the All-Pros, with the only recent exceptions I can recall being when they splurged, to their regret, on C. Scott & D. Washington.

If the Steelers attempt to play hardball in negotiations with Troy (we are talking about the team that declared Hines Ward to be priority #1 last year and then had a potentially ruinous holdout) it is unreasonable to expect Troy to stay simply because he likes western PA and that "lowball" offer still would be beyond the wildest dream of any NFL player 10 years ago. Combine that with a break the bank offer from somewhere else, together with the potential uncertainty of playing for a new HC if Cowher leaves after this season, and all I am saying is don't count anything until the new contract is signed.

"The Steeler Way" works pretty well but waiting until the last year of a contract to negotiate a new contract with potential free agents creates a steady stream of anxiety that I have no reason to believe will not recur when it is time for Troy to make a deal.

Yes and no. Playing hardball is based on leverage. The Steelers live and die by the ability to plug in replacements - perhaps not equals but cost-effective substitutes. Just look at Keisel and Harrison and Foote. You guys could chalk up even more but I'm tired and half asleep.

Irreplacables are extraordinary for the Rooney's. The Greg Lloyds' and Kevin Greens' were 'easy' (not easy!) decisions because their careers were nearly over. Hope and ARE were questionably replaceable.

I was a very very young buck in the late 70's so my perspective of that dynasty is child-like. But I can't remember a time since then that a Steeler team is fielding a group of potential Hall Of Famers like this. Correct me if I'm out there.

Who can replace Troy? Who can replace Hines? Who can replace Ben? Name a player we have access to and I'll say okay. I don't see it.

And that's why they paid Hines. And why they'll pay Ben and Troy. I have no reason to believe that they won't be Steelers for life. And they should be paid the going rate. They are irreplacable.

I love the way Ike plays but he is still one tier away.

tony hipchest
08-02-2006, 02:02 PM
(pretty much the same story)
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_464176.html

An update from the world of Troy Polamalu (some good quotes in this one)
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_464365.html

The Steelers won the Super Bowl after coming close so many times before not because they were desperate to win, but because they developed the camaraderie and I'll-do-anything-for-a-teammate mind-set that many championship teams possess.

"I don't know if there was even a hunger last year," he said, dismissing the theory the Steelers wanted to win more than other teams. "We came in here and we had fun doing what we do. We had fun practicing. We have fun hanging out with each other."

Elvis
08-02-2006, 06:08 PM
First of all... Troy is Not Jesus.... so dont go with that WWTD... Troy is a great player and I hope that the Steelers will keep him in Pittsburgh, but he is Not our whole team.
God Bless All
Elvis

Polamalu43
08-02-2006, 10:22 PM
troy is the man, thats why hes my fav player on this team and in the NFL... if u guys have not noticed already lol

I-Want-Troy's-Hair
08-03-2006, 03:29 AM
troy is the man, thats why hes my fav player on this team and in the NFL... if u guys have not noticed already lol


I just love Troy he's such an animal on the field but much like a Clark Kent off the field you wouldn't even know he was there, he's so soft spoken. I know he comes spinning out of a phone booth before every game. Gotta love Taz....it's his hair when he let's it down and it covers his name it's like.......hmmm magic!

Troy --- "My hair is my name!" Gotta love the guy!!!!

:champs:

SteelersMongol
08-03-2006, 04:02 AM
troy is the man, thats why hes my fav player on this team and in the NFL... if u guys have not noticed already lol

Agreed. I just love him. And yeah, I had a hard time choosing between his and Ward's jersey when I bought them both. :bouncy: I finally went with Ward's but he is still one of my top 53 current players from the NFL. Ha ha ha. I had to pay about $25 for SI issue with him on the cover, too. God bless him.

SteelCzar76
08-03-2006, 06:52 PM
Troy is one of very few individual's left in this world that know's and LIVES the meaning of Honor and integrity. As i've said countless times before,.....the Kid is a modern day Samurai. No man is perfect,.... but he does his best to honor his people with his every breath and action.



"Hail Caesar,....Hail the Black and Gold"