A pleasant surprise emerged on Twitter Friday as Steelers All-Everything safety Troy Polamalu tweeted for the first time. In his inaugural Tweet, Polamalu said, “Neither sound or light can escape todays social network I dont know why I thought I could but today I surrender to the tweeting revolution.” In 9 short hours of his first Tweet, Polamalu had over 7500 followers and climbing on the social media giant. If you are expecting Tweets from the locker room, late night U-Stream videos or off color quotes about team turmoil, you are not going to find it coming from Polamalu. He is a very humble, spiritual soul and will likely approach social media in the same manner as he does the main stream media. He is the Bizarro Chad Ochocinco of Twitter. His website at http://www.troy43.com/ is in it\’s beginning stages and his Facebook page is filling with Steeler fans.
I caught up with Troy\’s brother-in-law, Alex Holmes, Friday night and chatted a bit with him. If you do not recognize the name, Holmes played tight end at USC from 2000-2004 where he was a teammate of Polamalu\’s. He was signed by the Miami Dolphins in 2005 as an undrafted free agent and played in 8 games in the NFL. When asked about Troy\’s sudden emergence on social media, Holmes said, “Troy is a very reflective person and he does things in his own time. It seems that he has decided that now is the time for him to engage the world in a new way. His tweet was clear on that I believe. I am really very excited about the whole thing. I love the guy so much and truly count him among the most wonderful people I know. I am thrilled and excited to see him share in this way. I am certain that he will give people a glimpse of the remarkable person that he is to my sister and nephew, his teammates and everyone he comes into contact with on a daily basis.”
Polamalu, as most of Steeler Nation knows, is a very spiritual man and approaches the game of football from a different angle than most players. He is also plays all out and is very phsycal. He leaves everything out on the field, every game. In a 2006 interview with Greg Garber on ESPN.com, Polamalu said, “I don\’t view football in that way — as a violent, barbaric sport. To me, it\’s a very spiritual sport, especially for a man and the challenges a man faces within the game of football: the fear of failure, the fear of gaining too big an ego, of making a mistake and everybody criticizing you.”
2010 will see Troy attempt to rebound from a knee injury that forced him to miss 11 games. He has been working out back in California and by all accounts, is 100% healthy and ready for training camp. Holmes also told me that his brother-in-law said the team is fired up and ready to go out and prove a point! That is music to Steeler Nation\’s ears for sure. The defense has a chip on their shoulder from last year and will be relied upon heavily early in 2010 as the Steelers will be without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for at least the first four games.
While the picture is not 100% clear of what way Polamalu will engage the social media world and what glimpses of himself he will reveal to us, it certainly will be worth listening too and reading. Former Steelers great head coach Chuck Noll always said players need to be ready to get on with life\’s work. Nobody understands that more than Polamalu as his life\’s work is already underway it seems. I look forward to following him on Twitter at @tpolamalu and seeing his life\’ work evolve as he is one of my All-Time favorite Steelers. Hopefully you follow him too.