Steelers safety Troy Polamalu always has brought a unique perspective. Far more often than not, his unique perspective is the accurate perspective.
Appearing on The Jim Rome Show on Tuesday, Polamalu was asked about his selection as a semifinalist for the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. His answer was different than what most would say.
“Honestly, I’ve kind of been really indifferent toward seeing any type of award or recognition,” Polamalu told Rome, “because for a sport like football, it’s such a team-oriented sport, it’s hard to really talk about individual players, especially coming from the team that I’ve been a part of — thank God — for the 12 years that I played for the Steelers. There’s definitely more than a handful of players that I know that I’ve played with that are more deserving of this award. I could even point out players on other teams that had they played with the James Harrisons, the [James] Farriors, the Ike Taylors under Coach [Dick] LeBeau that perhaps could have been even more successful or just as successful as I’ve been.”
Polamalu is right; football is a team sport. Individual awards undermine the concept of team, team, and team that every coach hammers into the brains of every player, at every level.
So why even bother with individual awards? Put simply, they help promote the sport.