Man, 5 years?
On this day 5 years ago the greatness that is Troy Polamalu decided to hang 'em up on his now Hall of Fame career and damn do I miss this guy.
I mean, don't get me wrong, having a badass playmaker on the backend in Minkah Fitzpatrick now definitely helps me think about Troy less, but still - this is Troy.
2x Super Bowl champ, 4x 1st team All-Pro, Defensive Player of The Year. A legend. Some of the best memories of my life have featured this TP flying around, wreaking havoc, and making unbelievable plays that I still pull up on youtube every now and then when I miss the Steelers.
There's 5 I always go back to:
5. One-handed Interception vs. Titans 2009
The Titans were driving, and were in Steelers territory at the 44-yard line, when Kerry Collins faked the handoff to Chris Johnson then dropped back to look deep for Kenny Britt. Tennessee was trying for a homerun at 2nd & 5, Collins heaved it down the left hash, and Polamalu leaped in-front of the 6’4 Britt snagging it with his left hand and coming down cleanly. This wasn’t a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage that landed in his left paw. This was a 50-yard bomb, jackpot style that he came down with using one hand. I remember talking on the phone with my girlfriend at the time while watching the play, and I interrupted her with a, “HOLY S%#@.”
4. Torpedo Chris Johnson 2009
Same game as number 5. Opening up the 2009 season. CJ2K was killing it (yikes) even back then. Can't find the video for this that's not included in some compilation of highlights with an annoying ass song playing behind it. Basically, Troy flies into the screen from the secondary and upends Johnson. Incredible.
3. Fingertip Pick vs. Chargers 2008
This somehow became a specialty for him. Somehow just gets enough of the tip and hauls it in before it touches the ground. Jim Nantz STILL doesn't believe it happened. "They play it on the field as an interception, I thought it hit the ground." Shut up, Jim.
2. Flacco Strip-Sack 2010
This was an all-time Steelers-Ravens game. At least for Steelers fans. December in Baltimore. Winner has the path to the AFC North title like it usually happened back then. Ravens have the lead, they're trying to hold onto the ball and wind the clock down and somehow they forget to block Troy. Thank God. Tweeted about it last week, but my pops and I were just jacked when this happened my mom woke up and about kicked us out of the house. How about Ray Rice going the other way to pickup Lawrence Timmons instead of Troy. This is the play that won him DPOY.
1. Pick Six AFC Championship 2008
No doubt about this one. Crushing Baltimore's hopes and dreams again while also sending the Steelers back to the Super Bowl is the ultimate play. Hands down. Sure, he probably made more difficult / incredible plays, but this one takes the cake forever.
Can't wait to hear his 4 minute Hall of Fame speech in August. Love you Troy.