Ahead of Super Bowl 50, get to know eccentric Broncos LB Von Miller
Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller dominated opposing offenses in 2015, leading the top-ranked Denver defense with 11 sacks along with 35 total tackles. Since he was selected with the No. 2 pick of the 2011 draft, Miller has been named first-team All-Pro twice and has been selected to the Pro Bowl four times.
But Miller doesn’t stop commanding attention once the whistle is blown. Off the field—and even between plays—Miller shows off his personality through provocative dance moves, quotable quips and daring fashion statements.
On Sunday, Miller and the Broncos will face the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. The matchup will pit Miller against Panthers quarterback Cam Newton—who has become the king of on-field celebrations—in the first meeting between the No. 1 and 2 picks from the same draft class in a Super Bowl.
As we prepare for Sunday's game, take a look at some of Miller’s most remarkable moments of 2015.
Miller’s 60 career sacks rank second in the NFL since his debut in 2011, behind only Texans’ superpower J.J. Watt. With so many big hits to celebrate, Miller takes full advantage of his opportunities to break out his increasingly infamous sack dances.
Though Miller was not credited with a sack in Denver’s Week 3 win over the Detroit Lions, he still celebrated bringing down quarterback Matthew Stafford with some thrusting, for which he was later fined $11,567 for unsportsmanlike contact.
Miller doesn’t limit his performances to games. He also likes dancing during practice.
Mozzarella sticks and Ferraris
Miller started in all 16 of the Broncos’ games in 2015, but was forced to miss a mid-January practice with a food-related illness. On an off-day, Miller went to see the newest Star Wars movie in the theaters and selected mozzarella sticks over popcorn as his theater nosh of choice. In his own words, “the force struck back” after he ate the fried cheese, knocking him out of practice for a day.
“Mozzarella sticks—you can’t put just regular gas in a Ferrari,” Miller said. “I learned that [Wednesday].”
Speaking of indigestion, Miller reportedly qualifies for the richest bracket of the Broncos’ Fart Tax system. The team began “taxing” every incidence of flatulence in team meetings this off-season, and Miller confessed to coughing up the most money for the offense.
“They can’t fine me if I get up and walk away,” Miller told reporters. “It’s NOT healthy. I keep trying to tell them it’s not healthy if I just sit there and hold it in. Nobody in the world does that. I just do it more than the average person.”
Miller has said he doesn’t know how many tattoos he has, but began getting inked before enrolling at Texas A&M in 2007. In college he majored in poultry sciences (yes, the study of chickens), which inspired one tattoo featuring a chicken leg, a watermelon slice, a dollar sign and a Pacman-esque ghost representing a “hater.” Some people called out the recently drafted rookie for being racist, but he reminded the inquiring parties that the chicken leg was simply a shout-out to his favorite fowl.
Miller also sports tattoos of an owl, the Texas A&M logo, his and his family members’ football numbers, and several roses to dedicate to whatever girl he is currently with so as to avoid having to get any specific names removed.
Watch Miller discuss the significance of his ink in the video below.
Tattoos aren’t the only way Miller expresses himself. A self-proclaimed man of “unique” style, Miller has been seen in a variety of getups, including fur hats, cowboy hats, studded shoes and a seemingly endless collection of glasses (as of 2013, he had accumulated 32 pairs).
Miller took to Snapchat to needle Tom Brady after the AFC Championship Game.
On the field
Almost forgot: Miller is really good at football too.
Miller had his best game of the year in the AFC Championship Game against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, recording 2.5 sacks with five total tackles, both season highs for a single game for him.
Miller and Newton have faced each other only once before—in a 36–14 Broncos win over the Panthers in 2012. They were introduced properly when Miller delivered one of seven sacks on Newton during that game in a potential preview of what the Panthers quarterback has in store for Super Bowl 50.
Super Bowl 50 kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS.