While watching the game of football, you catch of glimpse of things that project into your thoughts. Whether it’s Peyton Manning pre-snap adjustments, Antonio Brown’s ability to catch the ball, or Aaron Donald’s ability to take on double teams. We tend to notice things that are abnormal or extravagant in the NFL. With that sai,d the play of Von Miller in Super Bowl 50 was just as memorable as the Halftime Show exhibited by Coldplay, Bruno Mars, and Beyoncé.
While Cam Newton and Manning were rightfully examined following the Super Bowl, let’s take a moment to appreciate the sheer greatness of Miller. In the two days since the Super Bowl ended, discussion on radio and television is all about Peyton Manning’s swan song and the scrutinized post game presser with Cam Newton. Not to take anything from the quarterbacks, but let’s not forget about the Super Bowl MVP. Between the usual Super Bowl melee with commercials, controversy, and the game itself, the All-Pro’s performance has sort of fallen under the radar.
Outside of Ray Lewis winning the award in 2001, it’s been the norm that the glamor positions (QB, RB, WR) and one-hit wonder types like Larry Brown and Dexter Jackson win the award. As dominant as defensive players such as James Harrison, Charles Haley, and Reggie White have been in the Super Bowl, they’ve never won the award.
Although, the teams circumstances were different than the past should have been MVP’s that were snubbed, let’s take a moment to celebrate this year’s SB MVP.
Redemption was sweet for Miller as he missed out on Super Bowl 48. At the time, Miller was coming off of an ACL tear and was unable to help his team as they were dismantled by the Seattle Seahawks 43-8. Making to the Super Bowl is rare itself, but making it twice is uncommon. In his first official SB, Miller was must-see-TV.
In a game of vengeance, Miller had arguably one of his best games as a pro. He played as if he was a combination of Alvin Mack and Derrick Thomas. With 2.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles, he made game-breaking plays throughout the game when it appeared that the Panthers were itching toward a comeback.
The fifth-year linebacker helped beleaguered the Carolina Panthers into having their worst game of the season. There were no Dabs and MVP Quarterback Newton was more Clark Kent than Superman thanks to Miller and the Denver Broncos defense.
Miller’s reputation of being a top-flight pass rusher began in his days as the leader of the “Wrecking Crew”at Texas A&M and it has translated to the NFL and in the Super Bowl it was broadcasted to a national audience. In an attempt to try to stop Miller the Panthers used different schemes to try to try to slow down the menacing pass rusher, but nothing worked.
From watching the AFC Championship and, according to Miller himself, he only needs one second to make the quarterback pay. Like, Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger in previous playoff games Newton got a taste of the speed and brute strength that Miller possess.
Miller was just a half sack away from tying the Super Bowl record with three. He may not have attained the record, but what he did was let the football world know that he is just as good as J.J. Watt and Justin Houston, who are celebrated as sack connoisseurs of the NFL.
SB 50 will be remembered for many reasons. The National Anthem was awesome, the halftime show was lit, and the game was good despite it being a defensive struggle. It’s likely that it was Manning’s last game as he may ride into the sunset. And for Newton, it was a learning experience for him on and of the field. Equally important it wouldn’t be right not to appreciate Von Miller going into Super Saiyan mode against the Panthers. On sports biggest stage, the player who was No. 2 to Newton in 2011 NFL Draft took reins of the No. 1 spot for one night.
Whether you call him the Kryptonite to Superman or Von Miller it’s appropriate to add Super Bowl MVP to his name.
With the exuberant personality that Miller has it’s no secret that he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Columbus, Ohio born. Ron is a first-ballot healthy hairline hall of famer. He spent the summer of ‘08 eating calamari pasta because of OJ Da Juiceman. He also loves to write about sports while listening to Sada Baby. Follow him on Twitter @Ron_Hamp