A trip the Super Bowl didn't turn into a financial gold mine for the Steelers. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Troy Polamalu had one of the biggest freefalls in monetary popularity. The Steelers safety played in 14 games for the AFC champs in 2010 with 63 tackles and seven interceptions, but that wasn't enough to help his endorsement value.
Polamalu, known for his long hair, saw a rapid decline in his NFL royalty check from over $1,000,000 in 2009 to $139,577 in 2010, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
The safety was joined by Steelers stars Ben Roethlisberger, James Harrison and receiver Hines Ward among players who received a lot less from moving products with the NFL logo.
Roethlisberger, despite having the highest 2010 merchandise check on the Steelers, witnessed his NFL royalties plunge more than 70 percent to $153,759 last year. Among the 14 starting quarterbacks, he was tied with little known Josh Freeman for the biggest percentage drop.
Tight end Heath Miller and running back Rashard Mendenhall were the only Pittsburgh players whose royalty checks stepped up. But that was before Mendenhall showed sympathy for the death of terror mastermind Osama bin Laden.
Overall, in part because of the terrible U.S. economy, the NFL Players union paid out only $198.9 million in royalties to athletes, workers and vendors. That's down $1,300,000 from the preceding year.