Updated: May 21, 2021
(Photo by John Biever/Getty Images)
On Wednesday, it was officially announced by the Pro Football Hall of Fame that former Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu's longtime defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will be his Hall of Fame presenter this summer. Polamalu hinted on Tuesday on social media that LeBeau would be his Hall of Fame presenter.
LeBeau was recently on the Pomp & Poni podcast and revealed that he doesn't need to prepare much to talk about Polamalu.
“I don’t need a script to talk about Troy, I got a lot of years together with him,” LeBeau said. “All I need is for them to tell me how long they want me to talk, because I could talk forever on Troy.”
LeBeau has tons of stories on Polamalu as a player, but the one that stood out most to him was the kind of person he was off the field and all that he did to make an impact in people's lives.
“The players have long days and their weeks are spent with a lot of physical exertion and a lot of meetings, mental exertion and the one day of the week that they kind of get out of facility fairly earlier is on Friday and they usually can get home in time to do some things ... and every Friday, every Friday before Troy would go home and address some of those family things that he could do, he would stop by the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh and visit those kids in there and built a lot of personal relationships with a lot of patients in that area,” LeBeau said. “That’s always made a tremendous impression to me, I know there are a lot of guys that do a lot of things with their time, but Troy, it was every Friday that’s what he did.”
Colin Dunlap of 93.7 The Fan shared this tweet about Polamlu last year on why there's a photo of Polamalu on the 9th floor at Children's Hospital where the kids with cancer stay. The response was, "Every Friday he’d come here and play with the kids, never told anyone.”
After Polamalu was nominated to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2020, WPXI spoke with child life specialist Michael Shulock on Polamalu's visits to Children's Hospital.
“We could always count on Troy. It was something that every Friday he would come in his gray sweats with his hoodie and hair up,” Shulock said.
Shulock’s job at Children’s is to bring some normalcy to families during a stressful time. He told WPXI that Polamalu did just that.
“When it was early on in his career and his kids were little, or he didn’t have kids, he would come in and spend hours. It was unbelievable,” Shulock said. “You could tell that he just wanted to. He just wanted to do things for the families and for the patients.”
Polamalu will be enshrined into football immortality in Canton on Saturday, Aug. 7, along with the rest of the Class of 2020, which includes his former head coach in Bill Cowher and Donnie Shell, who played strong safety for the Steelers in the 1970s and won four Super Bowls. Last year's ceremony was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cowher announced in March that Steelers president Art Rooney II will be his presenter and former Steelers guard Alan Faneca, who is a part of the Class of 2021, announced last month that Hines Ward will be his presenter. Steelers "super scout" Bill Nunn is also a part of the Class of 2021, so in total five members of the Steelers organization will be honored in August at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Class of 2021 will have its ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 8.