Troy Polamalu and Kimo von Oelhoffen were teammates who shared the bond of winning a Super Bowl together. They were players who proudly wore the black and gold, players who consider themselves Steelers for life.
But they share another bond, and that bond could soon have them earning an impressive honor.
Polamalu and von Oelhoffen are among the 25 finalists for the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Class of 2016, an honor bestowed upon those of Polynesian ancestry who have excelled in the game.
Polamalu, the team's No. 1 draft pick in 2003 who is of Samoan ancestry, played 12 seasons for the Steelers before retiring this offseason. He finished his career with 12 sacks, 32 interceptions, 13 forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries.
"Troy is a shining example of a football man in the way he loved the game, the way he respected the game and the way he played the game," said Coach Mike Tomlin when Polamalu retired. "He is a legendary Steeler and a legendary man."
For von Oelhoffen, who is of Hawaiian ancestry, signing with the Steelers as a free agent in 2000 is what he called the best thing that happened in his career. He played five seasons in Pittsburgh, 14 in his NFL career, and was a member of the team's Super Bowl XL team along with Polamalu.
"What makes the Steelers who they are, they love their players while they are playing and when they are finished," said von Oelhoffen a month ago. "That is why I love the Steelers. It's awesome. It's special. It changed my life."
The Class of 2016 will be announced on Oct. 7 and Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend will be held at the Hawai'i Convention Center and at the Polynesian Cultural Center on January 29-30.