Troy Polamalu Named Steelers 2010 Walter Payton Man of the YearTroy Polamalu
Polamalu is one of 32 NFL teams' Man of the Year winners who qualifies for the league's national 2010 Walter Payton Man of the Year award. The award recognizes a player's off-the-field community service as well as his playing excellence. The overall winner will be announced during Super Bowl week in Dallas.
Troy frequently visits Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, spending one-on-one time with kids fighting cancer, playing video games, talking about life and making them feel special. Troy has formed several personal bonds with some of the patients over the years, presenting them with unique items including game-worn jerseys and authentic game balls.
Troy is the most highly requested Steeler among the numerous Make-a-Wish requests the team receives each year. He embraces the opportunity by spending time with each child, making them feel extra special and their wish a reality.
Troy believes in donating both his personal time and financial resources to organizations and causes that he feels are important. Being of Samoan descent, in 2010 he made a considerable donation of NIKE football equipment (valued at $140,000) to the Department of Education in American Samoa. Troy's goal is to build an athletic complex in American Samoa within the next five to 10 years, beginning with a football field in the spring of 2011, and will personally visit the students next June.
Operation Once in a Lifetime, which makes dreams come true for active duty soldiers and veterans, many of whom have been wounded in combat and are Purple Heart recipients, is a favorite of Troy's. For the second year in a row, Troy hosted 15 soldiers from this group at a home game.
Troy supports his teammates' charitable efforts as well, by participating in their various fundraisers and events.
Despite Troy's hard-hitting style on the gridiron, he is known off the field as a soft-spoken family man. He and his wife, Theodora, are the proud parents of sons Paisios and Ephraim.
Polamalu has developed into a perennial All-Pro safety after being selected by the Steelers in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft. His versatility and knack for making big plays at the most critical moments has led him to five consecutive Pro Bowl appearances and a place on the Steelers' 75th Anniversary All-Time Team. His fourth-quarter interception return for a touchdown in the 2009 AFC Championship game against the Ravens helped the Steelers clinch a berth in Super Bowl XLIII. **is not only an important part of the Steelers' success on the field, but he also makes an impact off the field. For his efforts, Polamalu has been named the Steelers 2010 Walter Payton Man of the Year.