TAMPA, Fla. — On the podium, in front of the prying worldwide Super Bowl media, with at least 10 television microphones about 2 inches from his face, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu was surprisingly smooth, every bit as at ease as when he took that interception back for a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens Jan. 18.
Off the podium later, during a brief walk to the Steelers’ hotel that provided a moment of quiet reflection so rare amid the big-game hysteria, Polamalu made a fascinating pronouncement.
“I’ve never needed or wanted to be a red-carpet A-lister.”
Seconds later, Polamalu was engulfed by a throng of Steelers fans outside the hotel. Security tried to chase them away like flies, but a few got autographs, one or two a picture, one older woman even a hug. You can bet each of the lucky few called or texted home to brag about their good fortunate meeting the great Polamalu.