Is it possible to get closer to the center of what makes Von Miller so weird? Miller seems like an example of a particular brand of internet-induced sport celebrity that is sustained by non-sequitur and quirkiness (ODB, Gronk, Brandon McManus? https://theringer.com/denver-broncos-brandon-mcmanus-food-blogger-4c0a23bcddc6#.ugtsnvygy )
These guys appear as antithesis to the hyper-violent rule abiding status-quo of the NFL. Their chicken farming allows us to believe the fantasy (reinforced by Miller’s assertion that he can leave all football-related activities at the office) that professional football can be for them a means to greater (and more interesting/eclectic/peaceful) ends. However, this overshadows the inherent strangeness of our desire to see a professional athlete act out this counter-intuitive narrative. The very fact that they play a game and get paid millions of dollars as entertainers is interesting right? But to shun the obsessiveness that makes so many NFL players great and live on their own terms, to be so freakishly athletic that you can compete without the appearance of doing whatever it takes is the real dream.
I’m sorry for the long comment, but there are different questions that this topic encourages that are also interesting. Is the desire to see Von Miller in this light a way to skirt the still prescient issue of a sport so dependent on violence for entertainment? Is that something that Miller thinks about, and if so does that affect his self-determined public image? How does this sort of lifestyle reflect and refute the kinds of privilege afforded to top-tiered athletes? Is social-mindedness regarded as important in young, wealthy athletes in the same way it is in young, wealthy entrepreneurs? And maybe most importantly, how is our media portrayal of athletes changing, and what does that mean for us as a society in general?
It’s impossible to write this post without it feeling like a partial condemnation of this site, and I apologize for that. Still, its impossible to escape the shadow of the past, and we should aspire to hold ourselves to higher, more thoughtful standards.