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Troy Polamalu: Playing football always risky

One of the great things about the NFL is the wide range of personalities that make up the league's 32 rosters.

Troy Polamalu stands out among them. The Pittsburgh Steelers safety hits hard on the field but speaks softly off it. He's perhaps most famous on a national scale for shampoo commercials, but he's a deep thinker devoted to faith and family.

In a recent sit-down with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the 31-year-old Polamalu touched on topics related both to football and life outside the game.

On balancing his spirituality with NFL fame and fortune:

"I don't know if I'm successful at that. But to me there is no greater arena to culture that. You face so many passions. You're fighting ego, pride, avarice. Obviously this business is filled with a lot of temptations. But it's the best place, I feel, to overcome them."

On the death of Junior Seau:

"I felt horrible for his mother. For the family's sake, I hope they find something wrong with his brain because I can imagine, as a parent that has a child commit suicide, you would feel like you failed. I don't know."

On the dangers of his profession:

"People are paralyzed on a football field. People die ... You just never know when it's going to be your last moment. I was the kind of guy who would never talk to my wife on game day. Now I'm the guy who's like, 'I love you.' I want my children to know I love them because I don't know what's going to happen out there. I'm not trying to play the martyr here. I love football. It's something we choose to do. We all know how much of a gamble it is to play this game."

On how long he plans to play:

"I've never thought about the end of my career. I've had this growing motto in my life to live day to day -- and when you live day to day, it's hard to talk years."

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