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Entering the HOF, Troy opens his heart to his football family
Troy being Troy.” That is something that has been uttered time and time again by Troy Polamalu’s teammates, coaches, and even those who had the unenviable challenge of playing against him. And on one of the biggest stages in his sport, the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony for his Class of 2020, everyone saw “Troy being Troy.”
He opened his heart, he was humble, he deflected credit and he created a Steelers creed with words that fully encompassed what the organization is about.
Polamalu, who tested positive for COVID leading up his enshrinement, was cleared in time to take part in the enshrinement ceremony, even receiving his Gold Jacket at the start of the night, after missing out on it the night before.
Hall of Fame cornerback Dick LeBeau, Polamalu’s former defensive coordinator, presented him for induction and helped him unveil his bust. A bust that fittingly showed off his incredible hair.
“I love football,” the newly minted Hall of Famer said. And football loves him back. The cheers were loud and Terrible Towels were everywhere, even twirled by fans wearing other teams’ jerseys. “You guys, thank you,” said Polamalu to the crowd. “Congratulations to the Class of 2020, Class of 2021, and welcome back to all the Gold Jackets. Your presence, without a doubt is most definitely felt. Thank you for being here.
“I love football. I love football. It was my entire life, since as long as I can remember. I fostered an obsession with the game early on that I modeled after meticulous regimens of some of the greatest artists of past: Dickens, Beethoven, Demosthenes. These great men were known to have a beast-like work ethic, coupled with an unwavering ability to create until perfection beyond what most believe the human body will allow.
“To me, that’s what it takes to go from being ordinary to extraordinary. It is the willingness to push beyond what the brain tells the body is possible and create a new order of boundaries for one’s self. It is the ability to learn from greatness around you and curate for yourself a unique version of their efforts.
“Football challenged me mentally, physically and spiritually, in a way that no other feature of life could, so I was hooked. I had to succeed in order to quench this desire, or I knew I would’ve lived a life without direction.”