November 19, 2009
Credit: Scott Boehm/Getty
 Q: “What is one travel item you carry that is essential to on-field performance?”
 A: “Honestly, the truth is, it's got to be the shampoo.”
Favorite mini-bar item
“I'll probably take all the ginger ale out of all the mini-bars.”

First thing you do when you get home
“Kiss my wife and son.”

Hotel movie you regret watching
“That one with Sandra Bullock ? The Proposal.”
One thing you'd change about hotels
“They have small shampoo and conditioner bottles.”

Troy Polamalu

Pittsburgh Steelers, Safety

SI:What's something you can't live without when you travel?

Polamalu:Obviously, Head & Shoulders.

SI:Ever been to a bad hotel?

Polamalu:Yeah, I have been to a bad hotel. My wife and I actually went to Chicago one time. We got delayed and had to stay the night there. And O'Hare's like way outside the city, so we drove into the middle of the city to sleep for like three hours. We stayed in this old, decrepit hotel and it was just scary. I opened up one of the doors and we looked up and there was nothing but pipes and stuff like that. It wasn't really worth the stay. That was probably the worst experience I've had at a hotel.

SI:What's one tip/secret you can share for people who travel a lot?

Polamalu:Don't over pack. I think people have a tendency to over-pack and it's not fun. Traveling with my wife and son, we don't even bring a stroller or car seat or anything like that. You can always buy clothes wherever you go.

SI:What's your least favorite way to travel?

Polamalu:Honestly, it doesn't matter. My wife and I have taken an RV from Pittsburgh to California. She's driven all the away across just in a car. I think there's an awesome experience in any way you travel.

SI:What's your favorite city to visit?

Polamalu:I've been to Istanbul, Turkey. That was really awesome. I think anywhere that has a really, really deep history is really fun to visit. Anywhere in America lacks that. I was in D.C. last week, and that was really nice. But it's just so young compared to the rest of the world.

SI:Anywhere you'd really like to go?

Polamalu:A lot of places. Throughout Europe, anywhere in Asia; Russia, India.

SI:So you love to travel, huh?

Polamalu:Yeah, I think the majority of people do. I think people who travel a lot have a really different outlook on life and peoples' circumstances, and really have a worldly view on things.

SI:What's your least favorite sports venue to visit as a fan or player?

Polamalu:I don't watch much sports, so I've really only been to football games. And a hockey game in Pittsburgh. I guess USC (Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum). And the Rose Bowl.

SI:What's your least favorite sports venue to visit as a fan or player?

Polamalu:I don't know, I don't want to be bulletin board material for anybody.

SI:What's your favorite place to eat on the road?

Polamalu:Whenever I travel, I don't really go out.

SI:What's your craziest/best travel story?

Polamalu:The best experience I've had traveling is in Istanbul. They have a bazaar there and it's the largest indoor shopping center in the world. These people are professional vendors so they speak pretty much every language in the world, not fluently but enough to sell. So whenever someone would walk by, they try their pitch in Turkish, in Greek, in Spanish, in English - everything. I thought that was pretty impressive.

SI:Which city has the most rabid fans?

Polamalu:Pittsburgh, of course. We went to Dallas one year, and even our fans are louder than Dallas fans, and they were at home. Our starting lineup was louder. It was crazy. That was when I knew how loyal our fans are.

SI:What kind of music do you listen to on the road?

Polamalu:I listen to a lot of reggae, R&B, classical, Orthodox chants - a lot of everything.

SI:Favorite artist?

Polamalu:Probably Bob Marley would be my favorite.

SI:What is one travel item you carry that is essential to on-field performance?

Polamalu:Honestly, the truth is, it's got to be the shampoo. I always have to have my brush and I always have to have my shampoo, because I always shower before a game, and I always have to comb my hair before a game because, otherwise, it stays dreaded. But I can honestly tell you that I've never played a game without taking a shower beforehand and combing my hair.

SI:How long does it take you to do your hair?

Polamalu:It doesn't take me long. Well, in men's standards, it takes me forever. Probably about 10 minutes. I just can't imagine how much time in life I would have saved if I had kept it short. The last time I had it short was eight years ago.

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