Von Miller Was MVP Of Super Bowl 50
Von Miller may be half a country away, but he’s still very much in the hearts of his friends, family and faithful back in his hometown of DeSoto and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
Sunday, the former DeSoto standout earned a return trip to Super Bowl by helping the Los Angeles Rams come from behind to defeat their rival San Francisco 49ers 20-17 in the NFC championship game in the Rams’ home stadium. Coincidentally, that is also where Miller and his teammates will be playing on Feb. 13 as they host Super Bowl LVI (56) to face the AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals.
“Von’s success means the great tradition of DeSoto ISD and DeSoto football is alive and well!” exclaimed DeSoto head football coach and athletic director Claude Mathis. “He has not only represented the district and the city with the utmost class – his success has benefited the district and the city in his charitable efforts in which he has given back.”
Miller, a linebacker, was the MVP of Super Bowl 50 (the NFL chose not to use a Roman numeral for that one because it is an L), when he had 2.5 sacks in the Denver Broncos’ 24-10 victory against the Carolina Panthers. He matched his own Broncos’ postseason record for sacks in a game, which he set two weeks earlier in a 20-18 win over the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game.
From The Broncos to the Rams
Miller, who was drafted by the Broncos in 2011 after winning the Butkus Award at Texas A&M as college football’s outstanding linebacker (he was also an All-American), was unable to play in the Super Bowl XLVIII (48) with the Broncos in 2014 as he was recovering from a torn ACL. Without him, the Broncos came up short in a 43-8 loss to Seattle.
Miller ended his career with the Broncos holding several team records, including all-time leader in career sacks (110.5) and sacks in a season (18.5 in 2012). He was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection with them and was named All-Pro seven times.
He was traded to the Rams after playing six games for the Broncos in 2021. The linebacker registered five sacks for LA in the remainder of the regular season and has two in the postseason, along with 10 tackles (nine solo), a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Miller also changed his jersey number from the 58 he wore with the Broncos to 40 with the Rams, with the familial blessing of Rams legend Elroy Hirsch. It is the same number Miller wore at Texas A&M.
Actively Giving Back In The Community
But as much as he’s helped his teams on the field, Miller has also been a great help to his community. In 2012 he started Von’s Vision, which helps youngsters from low-income families in the Denver area get eye exams and eyewear. The organization hosts two big events each year, Von’s Vision Day and Von Miller’s Back to School Vision Day.
“I can’t tell you how proud we are of Von Miller and his achievements. To go from the Denver Broncos to the Rams in 2021 and come out with a win to get to the Super Bowl, how amazing is that?” said DeSoto Chamber President Vanessa Sterling. “The Chamber of Commerce is always about business and community involvement, and his giving back with his Von’s Vision just tells you a lot about his character and how much he cares about community service.
“We will be rooting for him, and we are extremely proud of all his accomplishments. We say Desoto rises, and throughout his career he has definitely done that.”
Also away from football, Miller made an appearance on “Dancing With the Stars” in 2016. He and his partner, professional dancer Whitney Carson, finished eighth.
He also has a degree in poultry science from Texas A&M and runs his own large chicken farm in DeSoto.
An Inspiration For Younger Athletes
Mathis said Miller’s success is not only exciting to watch, but that the sure-fire hall of famer inspires others, especially younger athletes watching him each Sunday.
“Von inspires our athletes to believe that with hard work and determination – dreams do come true – not one, but two Super Bowl appearances. He has shown with a combination of strength, will power and true grit – you can overcome obstacles and rise to the top,” Mathis said. “Simply put, Von gives hope to every kid that wants to play football or any other sport.”
And DeSoto Mayor Rachel Proctor said the whole city will be watching their favorite son on Feb. 13.
“We are all looking forward to seeing Von Miller return to the Super Bowl, which is familiar turf to him. DeSoto was filled with pride when Von was selected MVP for the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50, and we know he is going to give it his all when he takes the field for the LA Rams in Superbowl 56!” she said with excitement.
Miller is one of two Dallas area athletes who will be playing for the Rams. Former Highland Park star Matthew Stafford is the starting quarterback for the Rams. Stafford is also in his first season with the team after being traded from Detroit following the 2020 season.