Fifth-grade Von Miller and mom kept playing football a secret from dad

Friday February 5th, 2016

Von Miller’s route to football stardom began in highly-covert fashion. Before he could star at Texas A&M and be in a position to anchor the Broncos’ defense at the Super Bowl, a young Miller simply had to find his way onto the field. It was not so easy at first.

Andrew Lawrence’s April 2011 Sports Illustrated story, Locked out and loaded, caught the linebacker as a college star preparing for his NFL leap, and also as one of 10 plaintiffs, including his future teammate Peyton Manning, in an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL.

But to go further back, Miller’s father wanted his young son to wait before playing football and allow his body to develop. His mother had other ideas. The Dallas-area family found a way to make it work, even if the elder Von was totally unaware.

From the SI Vault:

Miller’s football career began with a series of end arounds. His father, Von, didn’t want him to play until his body matured, but Gloria caved to her son’s wishes and secretly enrolled the boy in fifth-grade Pee Wee ball. To ensure that her husband stayed in the dark, she stashed Von’s pads inside her Chevy Suburban and washed his jerseys in the garage late at night. Dad finally caught on about a year later, when he was making a rare bid to clean the SUV and football gear spilled out the back. “By then, quite honestly, he was entrenched,” the elder Miller says. “I wasn’t gonna take football away from him.”

Get to know the eccentric Von Miller

Well, it worked out. Miller and the Broncos will take on the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday.

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