An end of an era in Pittsburgh. Troy Polamalu is retiring and will leave the Pittsburgh Steelers with a void in their secondary that few will be able to fill. His 12 years rocking the number 43 at strong safety will be greatly missed by the organization and fans alike.
Polamalu was truly one of the best to play the game. Famous for his iconic hair that flowed out of the back of his helmet like a horse's mane, there was no one who could make tackles or bat down balls like Polamalu could.
He totaled 32 interceptions and over 500 tackles in his career with Pittsburgh. He helped lead a Pittsburgh defense that dominated in the 2000s, winning two Super Bowls in 2006 and 2009. Polamalu wasn't as outspoken as say Richard Sherman but still dominated the game all the same. He proved that you don't need to play the game of football angry to be successful and did so for 12 years in the NFL.
Steelers' Troy Polamalu is retiring
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 30: Safety Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on from the sideline during a game against the New Orleans Saints at Heinz Field on November 30, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Saints defeated the Steelers 35-32. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01: Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates as confetti falls after they 27-23 win against the Arizona Cardinals during Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 12, 2014: Safety Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers watches the action from the sideline during a game against the Cleveland Browns on October 12, 2014 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland won 31-10. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 24: Defensive end Cameron Heyward #97 and strong safety Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers sack quarterback Brandon Weeden #3 of the Cleveland Browns during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 24, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Steelers defeated the Browns 27-11. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 28: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers talks to teammate strong safety Troy Polamalu #43 before playing the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 28, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Baltimore Ravens won, 22-20. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 30, 2012: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 and defensive back Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers hug each other before a game against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers won 24-10. (Photo by David Dermer/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 23: Safety Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on from the sideline during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on December 23, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Bengals defeated the Steelers 13-10. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH - JANUARY 18: Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates after their 23-14 win against the Baltimore Ravens during the AFC Championship game on January 18, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH - FEBRUARY 03: Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers acknowleges the crowd during a parade to celebrate winning Super Bowl XLIII on February 3, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
HONOLULU - FEBRUARY 8: Troy Polamalu #43, James Farrior #51, and James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers take the stage during AFC pre-game introductions before the NFL Pro Bowl in Aloha Stadium on February 8, 2009 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The NFC defeated the AFC 30-21. (Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH - FEBRUARY 03: Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers jumps into the crowd during a parade to celebrate winning Super Bowl XLIII on February 3, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH - OCTOBER 26: Steelers fans cheer as Antwaan Randle El #82 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates with teammates Troy Polamalu #43 and Larry Foote #50 after returning a punt for a touchdown during the first quarter against the St. Louis Rams on October 26, 2003 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Rams defeated the Steelers 33-21. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH - 2005: Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers poses for his 2005 NFL headshot at photo day in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Getty Images)
Aug 10, 2006; Latrobe, PA, USA; TROY POLAMALU, strong safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL during training camp on the campus of St. Vincent College. (Photo by Bob Leverone/Sporting News via Getty Images)
Troy Polamalu speaks at Pittsburgh Steelers media day for Super Bowl XL at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan on January 31, 2006. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NFLPhotoLibrary)
LOS ANGELES - September 23: Troy Polamalu #43 of University of Southern California Trojans gets ready for the hike during a game against San Jose State Spartans at the Coliseum in Los Angeles, California on September 23, 2000 . The Trojans defeated the Spartans 34-24. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 2: Strong Safety Troy Polamalu #43 of the USC Trojans stretches on the field before the game against the Auburn Tigers on September 2, 2002 at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. USC defeated Auburn 24-17. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - CIRCA 2002: Troy Polamalu, #43 defensive back of the University of Southern California Trojans football team celebrates the win at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by University of Southern California/Collegiate Images/Getty Images)
MIAMI - JANUARY 2: MVP Carson Palmer #3 of USC hugs teammate Troy Polamalu #43, who took a pain killing injection that hit a leg muscle limiting him to be on the field for just two plays after the FedEx Orange Bowl against Iowa on January 2, 2003 at Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida. USC defeated Iowa 38-17. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)
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Of course the next question for Polamalu will be whether or not he will be joining other Steelers like Jerome Bettis in the Hall of Fame in years to come. He isn't eligible for five years, but I'm sure once the ballots are in and the voting has concluded, Polamalu will find his place next to the all-time greats. He did win an NFL defensive MVP in 2010 when he was well past his prime and the Steelers defense dominated for over a decade largely because of Polamalu's effort.
It is sad to see him go. Polamalu has provided plenty of good years for not just Steelers' fans, but football fans as well. But there is only so much a body can take in the NFL. Especially with the physical play style that Polamalu possessed. One of the best at his position during his time in the NFL. Not to mention being a class act on and off the field.
Here are some highlights from his career, with some pretty awful music to go along with them: