KEEPING HIS DAY JOB
The seven-time Pro Bowler returns for his 10th season in Pittsburgh after making a cameo in The Dark Knight Rises this summer.
DAN PATRICK:How much did you get paid for being in the movie The Dark Knight Rises?
TROY POLAMALU: Nothing.
DP:They have to give you something, don't they?
TP: The director gave us a really nice bottle of wine.
DP:Would you ever want to act?
TP: No. If you went to one of these commercial [shoots], you'd see that it may take me a hundred takes for a 60-second spot.
DP:Could you take Christian Bale?
TP: [Laughs.] I am a bit of a method actor. I try to get into the role of being myself.
DP:Do you have the mind-set when you tackle that you want to take someone down and it's going to hurt?
TP: I wouldn't say the hurt part. I'm obligated to say that with the state of football nowadays. [Laughs.] The goal is definitely to bring someone down.
DP:Have you ever tried to purposely knock someone out?
TP: No, definitely not. I've been knocked out way too many times to want to have anybody else feel that way.
DP:How many concussions do you think you've had?
TP: I believe eight or nine recorded concussions. We'll have another conversation after I'm done playing.
DP:How many unrecorded?
TP: When people say they feel a little buzzed or dazed, it's considered a concussion....
DP:Do you consider that a concussion?
TP: I wouldn't. But if that is a concussion, any football player has 50 to 100 concussions a year.
DP:Have you ever lied to get back into a game?
TP: Yes. For sure.
DP:How does that happen?
TP: There's so much built up about team camaraderie and sacrifice in football, and it's such a tough man's game. I think that's why it's so popular. That's why it attracts so many blue-collar people. A football player is no different from a guy who wakes up every day to go to the mines in West Virginia. You feel sore. You're legitimately injured. Where most people in an office might take three months out of work, we choose to play the following week.
DP:How crushing was the overtime loss to the Broncos in last season's playoffs?
TP: It was very disappointing. Any way that a season ends [is disappointing]. In my nine years only nine teams have been happy, and I was part of two of those.
DP:Was it worse because you got burned by Tim Tebow in overtime?
TP: It didn't matter. He's a very talented player. But I wouldn't consider losing to him [worse] than losing to any other player on any other team.
DP:Have you ever tackled anybody away from a football environment?
TP: No. I watched [former Steelers running back] Jerome Bettis on Punk'd a long time ago and learned my lesson.
DP:Was that the show where someone tried to tackle Bettis on a golf course?
TP: It was pretty bad acting. I couldn't believe he fell for it.
DP:It's always good to talk to you.
TP: You too. [Laughs.] We're going to get into some theology and some politics later, right?
It drove me a little bit nuts. I'm 33 and Misty [May-Treanor] just turned 35. That's not old by any means. If you're an athlete competing and kicking butt, who cares how old you are?"
—KERRI WALSH, gold medal beach volleyball player, on comments about her team's age
Swimming coach Bob Bowman hopes star pupil Michael Phelps doesn't call him to start training again. "If he does, I'm going to encourage him to think again," Bowman said. "I'm not sure there's much more he can do in swimming."... Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels thinks the Nationals shouldn't bench ace Stephen Strasburg to protect his arm: "I know you want to prepare for the future, but if this is your one opportunity to win the World Series, you have to go for broke."... Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim made a distinction between being an assistant for the U.S. men's basketball team and what it would be like coaching pros full time. "The money and superstar status don't apply to this team," Boeheim said. "This team, nobody's making any money. They're all here to be part of a team."... NBC Olympic pundit Willie Geist commented on American judoka Nick Delpopolo's expulsion from the Olympics for testing positive for marijuana. "What exactly is the advantage that weed would give you?" Geist asked. "Why is it even on the banned substance list? To slow down your time a bit?"
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/1DEUCE3 PHOTOGRAPHY (PATRICK)
CHRIS SZAGOLA/CAL SPORT MEDIA (POLAMALU)
MSNBC/¬© 2010 NBC UNIVERSAL INC. (GEIST)
DAVID E. KLUTHO (BOEHEIM)
DAMIAN STROHMEYER (HAMELS)
AL BELLO/GETTY IMAGES (BOWMAN)