Not sure if this was posted anywhere yet:
Playing pick-up with a legend
We've all been there. Maybe it's at the mall. Maybe it's at the gym. Maybe it's happy hour at a hopping restaurant.
You look up, and suddenly, you're in the presence of a celebrity.
"I saw this guy in the crowd," said Camden Leiva, a 10-year old Phoenix resident attending his sister's volleyball tournament in Maryvale. "I said, 'Dad, isn't that Troy Polamalu?' "
Jeff Leiva found the Steelers star in the crowd He nodded in agreement.
"We're big Cardinals fans," he said. "We both watch a lot of football. My son has seen the Head & Shoulders commercials. But he had his hair pulled back tighter than you normally see on television."
The father immediately preached restraint. But when Polamalu headed for the concession stand, Camden made his move. A picture ensued. So did a small army of children requesting signatures, and it appears that Polamalu couldn't have been a better sport.
"He sat there for like 20 people, taking pictures, signing things," Jeff said. "Some guys will charge you for that stuff. But he signed everything from shirts to napkins."
And then Polamalu had a better idea. He gathered up some of the kids and headed outside for a game of pick-up football.
"My son disappeared for like 30 minutes, and when I went outside, I couldn't believe what I saw," Jeff said. "They were playing football on this narrow strip of pavement. Troy was diagramming plays for the kids. He was the designated quarterback."
"He told us a bunch of plays in the huddle. He told me to run a fly route," Camden said. "And I caught it for a touchdown."
They played on until one of the teams reached eight touchdowns. Then Polamalu returned inside, apparently to watch his niece play volleyball, leaving behind a wake of stunned young athletes.
"We were all saying, 'Oh my God, we just played football with a NFL player!' " Camden said.
Since then, young Camden can't stop talking about Polamalu. He is currently badgering his father for a Polamalu jersey, unconcerned that his new hero once conspired against the Cardinals in the Super Bowl. And there's only one small problem:
Every time Camden tells his friends about the story, they all roll their eyes. Yeah, right.
"They don't believe me," Camden said.
Maybe this will help
There is a picture here:
Only wish we would hear more of these kinds of stories with superstar athletes.