Ever since he retired, we had hardly heard anything about former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu. A quiet family man off the field, he was always the sort of person who would otherwise keep to himself beyond the media obligations tied to his job.
Nevertheless, there was always the sense from some people—including reports from beat writers, whether accurate or not—that there was some animosity, or at least frustration, with the organization over the nature with which his career ended. It was reported that he felt as though the team forced him to reach the decision to retire when he did.
Nevertheless, since resurfacing to the public eye during the past couple of months as he went through the process of being chosen to be a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2020, he has been nothing but great, and even has been rather generous of his time.
Despite the circus being over as far as the selection process is concerned, Polamalu came up for air once again recently for an interview on Mark Madden’s radio show. Toward the end of their discussion, Madden asked him, “will we ever hear from Troy Polamalu again?”. This was his response:
I am just really passionate about things, and sometimes they don’t have to be things that have to do with the public eye, or maybe something that I always have to reveal to people. I love being with my children, I love being with my wife, I love being involved in my family’s sports and the development of young men. So to me, that’s my passion right now, and I approach that like I approach everything in my life, which is the most important thing. I guess what happens after that, we’ll see, but that, to me, is everything to me, and I can be in a bubble to do that, I guess.
In other words, it doesn’t sound as though you should anticipate seeing him around the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex any time soon, short of the team holding some type of ceremony to celebrate his induction in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He’s going to keep a low profile and give everything of himself to being the best father and husband he can be.
Which is, of course, his prerogative. As fans, we can sometimes overstep our bounds and almost feel as though celebrities owe something of themselves and their lives, since it was our viewership and money, even if indirectly, that allowed them to make their fortunes.
But he’s out of the game and simply living his life now. He’s unemployed, at least as far as football is concerned. I’m sure he has other things to do. Still, it will be great to hear from him whenever he does grace us with his presence, and perhaps one day, when his family is grown up, he may be a more frequent presence, though he wouldn’t be the first great in team history to fade away into the background.