Troy Polamalu is a born-and-raised Californian. While he would spend some of his formative years in Oregon, he was born in Garden Grove, and he attended the University of Southern California. Following a 12-year career on the other side of the country with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he moved his family back to SoCal.
That’s not to say he doesn’t have very close ties with the city of Pittsburgh, in which he spent quite a large portion of his adult life. It’s where his two sons were born, and grew up. And, to hear him tell it, they want to go back.
“It’s my home. It’s my children’s home”, he recently told WTAE in an interview with Andrew Stockey. “They’re definitely Yinzers. They already want to move back. What do you expect? One of them is a true Yinzer. He wakes up miserable out here. That’s what a Yinzer would do. A Yinzer would wake up and see blue skies and be like, ‘oh, I’m miserable outside, I’m staying inside, this weather sucks. I don’t want to go to the beach, it’s too hot out there. Where’s my Primanti Bros.?’”.
Drafted in the first round in 2003, Polamalu played his entire 12-year NFL career for the Pittsburgh Steelers, winning two Super Bowls in the process while receiving a host of individual accolades, including eight Pro Bowls and six All-Pro nominations.
There was speculation for years, however, as to how exactly his career ended, and how he felt about it. Polamalu acknowledge in the interview that it wasn’t entirely his choice, so to speak, at the end of the 2014 season, basically implying that the Steelers strongly urged him to do so.
He also admitted that it took him about six months to recognize for himself that it was the best decision, but many have believed that he has held bad blood against the team for the way things ended, using his non-appearance at events as evidence. That certainly doesn’t appear to be the case.
It’s obvious that he still loves the city, the fans, and the organization—and of course, his former teammates. But football isn’t his life, and it never has been. It was a part of it. A big part of it, for a time, admittedly, but it never defined him, and he was never going to be that gung-ho attendee of nostalgia rides.
Instead, he’s content living his life as a soccer dad for the time being to Paisos and Ephraim, his sons, now in or approaching their teens. But there is one event for which he will certainly be in attendance, and that is when he is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame next month.
— BlitzburghUSAVideos (@sdextrasmedia) June 30, 2021