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Von Miller Allegations Gives #MillerTime New Meaning

Von Miller Allegations Gives #MillerTime New Meaning

Imagine my surprise to turn on sports radio here in beautiful, sunny Denver – where the expectations for the Denver Broncos’ upcoming season are higher than the Mile-High altitude – only to hear the Von Miller allegations implying perhaps Von was trying to get “higher”! Yes, in a state where marijuana is now legal (greeeeat), Von is now appealing a 4-game suspension for alleged recreational drug use in violation of the NFL substance abuse policy.

I love sports – especially professional sports. I despise the decisions made by many of the modern professional athletes. Here are my initial thoughts – with a screenshot showing fan sentiment as viewed through a Mantis Pulse Analytics flip page – and I’d love to hear your reactions. Let’s put to bed the “marijuana is safer than alcohol and it is legal in Colorado” argument. Regardless of my personal views, or current laws, this violated the NFL’s substance abuse policy…and the NFL is Von’s current employer.

1. Selfish Act

The Denver Broncos are the odds-on favorite to win the Super Bowl this next season. They are incredibly loaded on offense, and their defense built depth even with the loss of Elvis Dumervil. Von Miller is the key to that defense, and the NFL currently ranks him #9 out of the top 100 players in 2013.

Von having drug allegations against him provides an immediate distraction to his coaches and teammates as they enter training camp. That’s the best case! The worst case is that Von will be suspended for 4 games if the NFL rejects his appeal.

That is NOT a team first mentality!

2. Leadership Void

Von Miller plays with a lot of energy and passion. One of his own teammates called him a “freak of nature” because of what he can do on the field. Entering his 3rd year in the league, he was expected to fill some of that leadership void created with Dumervil’s departure. Look to Champ Bailey and Wesley Woodyard to bridge this gap, but Von’s suspension will be a regression in his development as a player and leader.

3. Another Fallen Role Model

Sports talk show hosts brought up a good point: if you were a parent, and your kid wanted a Von Miller jersey – or an Aaron Hernandez jersey – would you buy it? Or do you sit your kid down and explain how yet another positive role model has given in to excess and personal demons.

Charles Barkley once exclaimed “I’m not a role model… Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.” But these athletes setup their personal brands as role models that lead by example with the shoes and clothes they wear, the cologne they use, and the cars they drive. Yet these athletes act as if they can live by a different social and legal standard, and that is NOT what we want to teach our kids.

4. Tarnishes a Legacy

Another great debate on sports talk radio was the following: Is it worse to fail a PED (performance enhancing drug) test or a substance abuse test. I loved one of the conclusions – failing a PED test makes fans question the numbers (sacks, yards, home runs). Failing a substance abuse test makes fans question the character.

Von Miller has the physical tools to transcend the game and become a Hall-of-Famer. He doesn’t want to be a sack specialist, so he shows his versatility defending in pass coverage and in run defense. As long as he never fails a PED test, we will never question his numbers. But some fans will always question his character for showing a lack of discipline when it comes to substance abuse. This wasn’t Von’s first failed test – this is his 3rd failed substance abuse test!

And here is another kicker: the NFL can test for PEDs at any time…anywhere. They test for substance abuse within a narrow timeframe around training camp. My conclusion is not only did Von show lack of self-control with alleged drug use – he didn’t learn from mistakes or even take advantage of the known drug testing window. UNBELIEVABLE!

What are your reactions to the recent “extracurricular activities” of star NFL players like Von Miller and Aaron Hernandez? Here is a Pulse Analytics Flip Page showing recent fan activity on social channels – check the new reference for #MillerTime! Not the kind of press this young man needed as he is trying to build a legacy.

Mantis Pulse Analytics, social media monitoring, sentiment analysis, Denver Broncos, Von Miller

Photo Credit: By Jeffrey Beall (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Brian Vickery

I love my Vickery Girls - and grandsons! My career has blessed me to the point I was able to start a new consultancy in 2018: Analytic Integrity. I look to provide analytic experience, and business integrity, to an Analytics world while helping data-driven organizations mature. I enjoy teaching and coaching, watching football and basketball, and playing tennis. I graduated UT-Austin.

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2 Comments

  1. We already glorify our athletes and entertainers but that doesn’t mean they are any smarter. In fact many feel enabled because the way they are coddled. We just have to remember they are human and a reflection of society as a whole.

    • bdorman264 True, they are only human and reflect society as a whole…so what does that say for our society and its tendency to excess and bending/breaking/creatively interpreting the laws to suit our needs?