The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is an event in which interest can wax and wane quite a bit depending upon whether or not you’re a fan of the individuals who are going in, or the teams that they played for. The 2021 induction ceremonies have a heavy Pittsburgh flavor, so naturally Steelers fans are particularly motivated for the proceedings, beginning a week from tomorrow on Saturday, August 7.
As part of the 2020 class, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu will be inducted as a first-ballot Hall of Famer, even if he had to wait an extra year due to COVID-19. Just a short time ago, he revealed on social media that he has tested positive for COVID-19.
While he did not give any indications as to whether or not he is experiencing any symptoms at all, he did say that he feels great and that his family is well. He also makes it clear that he has every intention of being in Canton if possible, and is working with the Pro Football Hall of Fame to figure out the logistics.
I recently tested positive for the Covid-19. Thank God I feel great and family are well. I’m working with the HOF to ensure we abide by all protocols to make it to Canton in time for all the festivities…
— Troy Polamalu (@tpolamalu) July 30, 2021
It is unfortunate news, of course, especially given how close it comes to such an important lifetime milestone event, but health and safety come first, so hopefully he experiences a symptom-free week and is able to test negative by the end of next week.
Assuming that Polamalu will be able to be there in Canton, he will be surrounded by plenty of Steelers, including those coming in along with him. That includes former teammate, guard Alan Faneca, as well as his coach, Bill Cowher. Also being enshrined is 70s safety Donnie Shell, and, posthumously, the great ‘super scout’, Bill Nunn.
Polamalu is due to give his Hall of Fame acceptance speech 10th in the order on August 7, with Shell going seventh, and Cowher rounding out the night last at 12. Somewhere in the midst of all that, presumably, will be a video presentation on behalf of Nunn. The 2021 class will give their speeches the following day, with Faneca second to last in the order behind everybody but Charles Woodson.
The Hall of Fame is limiting the length of speeches this year, down to six to eight minutes in length. Naturally, when you have 12 individuals speaking in one night, you’re going to want to try to manage your time, but Polamalu was never known for giving lengthy, unprompted speeches, let alone about himself. He recently said that his primary concern was simply not leaving anybody out.