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Bless You, Troy Polamalu

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Finding an honorable football player is akin to finding a virgin in a whorehouse.  By the way, we here at TotalSteelers were saddened to hear about the recent arrest of the Monroeville Madam.  Hopefully she shredded her records from 2009. The story was shocking not because her clientele included “professional athletes” as everybody knows the Pittsburgh Pirates only score when they pay for it.  No, I was surprised to learn her pimp daddy was “Buck” Buczkowski, an ex-NFL lineman who played his college ball at Pitt.

That kind of work seems far better suited to Miami alums.

Getting back on track, I’ve long held the belief that most professional athletes are assholes.  I’m not saying they all are but there is a certain level of arrogance that goes hand in hand with being paid obscene amounts of money and having 35,000 fans cheer your every move on Sunday.  Think back to who were the most arrogant kids in high school.  The jocks, right?  Pro athletes are the jocks magnified by a factor of ten.  And because of that, many have ginormous egos and an overinflated sense of entitlement.

So it’s worth noting when you find someone who is the exact opposite of that stereotype.

[intlink id=”57″ type=”category”]Troy Polamalu[/intlink] is one of the best players of this or any other generation.  Forget about comparing him to other safeties throughout history (49ers great Ronnie Lott is the only one even close), he belongs in any discussion of greatest defensive player period.  Troy does things on the football field which have never been done before and may never be done again.  He’s basically a safety, linebacker and shutdown corner all rolled up in one. It really says something when you have a defense as historically dominating as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ and there is a quantum leap in their effectiveness when Troy is in the line-up.

Who doubts the Steelers would’ve won Super Bowl XLV with a healthy Troy Polamalu?

Which brings us to the team’s recent spending spree.  [intlink id=”70″ type=”category”]LaMarr Woodley[/intlink] got a new contract.  Willie Colon got a new contract.  [intlink id=”114″ type=”category”]Lawrence Timmons[/intlink] got a contract extension.  Meanwhile, the NFL’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year sits at his locker applying Soul Glo and waiting to hear from [intlink id=”23″ type=”category”]Kevin Colbert[/intlink].  Does anybody seriously think any of those players are nearly as important to the Steelers as Troy?

And you know what?  Troy is cool with it.  In fact, when reporters asked about his situation, he told them “All comments about the contract stay between the Steelers and my agent. Sorry.”  He not only didn’t bitch about being passed over in the contract sweepstakes, he APOLOGIZED to reporters for not bitching.

Contrast his example with some other players around the league.  The current superstar controversy is in Tennessee where Titans running back Chris Johnson refuses to report to camp despite having TWO YEARS left on his current deal.  CJ is following the precedent set last year by Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, who held out despite having only three seasons under his belt.  Only in pro sports can a person willingly sign a contract then decide halfway through he wants more money and isn’t going to show up to work until he gets it.  I’d like to try that strategy with my boss.

Troy will wait patiently waited for his new deal.  And if the Steelers Franchise him in 2012 instead of giving him a new contract, he’ll show up for work without complaint.  Because that’s the kind of man he is.  An honorable man.  Beloved by his coaches, teammates and Steeler Nation alike.

And his patience was rewarded with a brand new four year/$36.5 million contract that all but guarantees he’ll retire in the Black and Gold.  Good to know nice guys don’t always finish last.