Troy Polamalu And His Band Of Brothers For the Love Of The Game

Alan ShimelCorrespondent IDecember 15, 2009

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 27:  Safety Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers speaks with the media during the AFC Media Day at Raymond James Stadium on January 27, 2009 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

You always knew that Troy Polamalu was a different kind of cat. From his prayers and crossing himself after every play, to his unorthodox training techniques and even to his "your eyes don't lie" Head & Shoulders commercial, Troy marches to his own beat. But that beat and Troy's Tasmanian Devil style has made him the MVP of the Steelers. Of course it is when he is not playing that we realize just how much we miss him. It is not just how good Troy is, but how good he makes those playing around him. That is the true mark of a champion. Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson was that way in basketball, Gretzky in hockey and very few other elite athletes come to mind.

But when I read in the Post-Gazette that he was really thinking of coming back for what in all probability is a meaningless final Steelers game of the year against the Dolphins, I thought he was just plain crazy. The playoffs will be out of reach by then. Why risk further injuring his already twice injured left knee. Call it a wrap on this nightmare and lets start getting ready for next year.

But Troy really is a different kind of guy. He truly plays the game for the love of it. Here is what he said when asked about why come back for the last game: 

"Why not? I'm a football player. I'm not a coach, I'm not a cheerleader. What I love to do is play football, and to be out there with my brothers. That's why. It's irrelevant of playoffs, it's always been irrelevant for me whether or not we got to the Super Bowl or playoffs; it's something I enjoy."

Now that is an answer! You want your hero's and football idols to answer that question that way.  Its nice hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, but Troy Polamalu plays football because he loves to play the game. He loves playing with his teammates. I just wish that attitude was contagious to the rest of his teammates. If it was maybe that Dolphin game would have really been important!

In the meantime I have tickets to Dolphin Stadium January 3rd. I don't get to see the Steelers in person too often here in South Florida. I would love to see Troy play. Just please don't get hurt!