According to the Uniontown, Pa. Herald-Standard, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu called owner Dan Rooney last night and retired. Polamalu missed four games due to injury last season, his 12th, and there were reports last month that the Steelers didn’t want Polamalu back, and hoped he would retire. The Herald-Standard confirmed those reports, but wrote that Polamalu “resisted” until he had a realization in church. Religious numerology was involved:

Polamalu also came upon the realization that the numbers – age of 33 and 12 years service – agreed with him.

“Thirty-three is obviously significant because of Christ being 33; and 12 years, 12 apostles,” he said. “I’m not superstitious by any means but I always thought that if I played 12 years and retire from football at 33 and give my life and give my body and give my blood to this game, I think that would be a pretty significant landmark in my life.”


Polamalu was one of the best safeties of the 2000s, going to eight Pro Bowls and leading the Steelers to two Super Bowl wins. He will almost certainly be elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but in the meantime plans to do what most retired players plan to do: spend more time with his family.


Photo via Gene J. Puskar/AP

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