Humble all the way to the Hall of Fame, Troy Polamalu defers honor to teammates

It's been three months since Troy Polamalu got a knock on his door at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel from David Baker informing him he had been voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

For most, it's the crowing achievement of an NFL career, affirmation that they are among the best to ever play the game.

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For Polamalu, it's quite a different feeling.

His humility is as legendary as the plays he made on the football field to earn him the game's highest honor. But much like when he was voted All-American in college at USC, or to the Pro Bowl with the Steelers, or even the College Football Hall of Fame, his thought process remains the same.

“I’m sorry if this doesn’t come out right. I want to be as frank as possible, but I’ve always felt like a fraud,” Polamalu told me Monday afternoon over the phone. “I always felt like I never deserved any of the awards that I got because I had so much respect for other people that I never equated myself with them. When it comes to receiving any sort of these awards, it never felt authentic to me. I always felt like a fraud...”

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