Cleat Geeks

Troy Polamalu, “Head and Shoulders” above the Rest.

I am not a Steeler’s fan. I am a Bengal’s fan. But in sports we can respect our rivals as long as we are not playing those rivals that day. Troy Polamalu announced his retirement late Thursday night, and now I can respect him everyday for the player he was.

Polamalu had a 12 year career where he amassed the following accolades; He was selected to 8 Pro Bowls, he was a 1st team all-pro 4 times, he made 3 Super Bowl appearances and won 2, and in the play-offs he was involved in 3 AFC Championship wins, 7 play-off appearances and 5 Division Titles. He was also named the 2010 Defensive Player of the Year.

“I did not seriously consider playing elsewhere,” Polamalu said in a phone interview with Jim Wexell. “It was just whether or not I wanted to play.” Polamalu connected with fans in Pittsburgh and beyond because he played with an abandon that was impossible to miss. He told Wexell that he knew this was the right decision in church this week, the Holy Week of the Greek Orthodox Church. “It’s all about family,” said Polamalu. “I live here in Pittsburgh now, and since the end of the season I’ve had a chance to enjoy my family on a level I never had before. It was awesome.”

Over the last couple of years injuries caught up with Polamalu and he was not the same player he was his 1st 10 or so years. But he was still serviceable, and I am sure he was a great veteran presence both on and off the field. I must say I am glad he retired at this point in his career. I believe if he played another season we would start to have some of those great defensive highlights he made be replaced with low-lights of the plays he could no longer make.

Now we will just wait until he can be voted into the NFL Hall of Fame and his bronze bust will be placed in the building in Canton Ohio. Thank you Troy for not tarnishing the steel. You truly are head and shoulders above the rest.

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