DENVER — Hey Bronco Nation, if you’re disappointed in Von Miller for doing whatever he did or did not do to earn himself a six-game suspension, you’re not a “true Broncos fan.”
To the members of the press, if you didn’t stop at the “no comment” after “no comment” given by Miller and his camp in regard to the aforementioned suspension, if you broke a sweat trying to break through the radio silence and provide the answers your audience so desperately craved, you’re likely among the group who painted an unfair portrait of the Denver Broncos linebacker.
That’s what Miller wants you to believe, anyway.
Don’t believe that? In an effort to take nothing out of context, here’s everything Miller had to say at Tuesday’s practice, following his six-game suspension being made official:
“True Broncos fans, they’ve been great — coming out to practice, still believing in the guy I am,” Miller said. “The media, they can do some crazy stuff to you and paint a different picture. But the fans that know me for going out there, laying it all on the field, being a great teammate, entertaining the fans and just being the fun Von – that’s who I am, that’s who I’ve always been, that’s who I’ll continue to be.”
“Fun Von,” huh?
Is that the same Von who was at a gun range instead of paying a parking ticket? Is that the same Von who had time for the Playboy Mansion but not a court date? Is that the same Von who may or may not have had too much fun away from the field these past two years, thus preventing him from having any fun on it for at least six games this year?
If it is, Eric Hynd isn’t so sure that “Fun Von” is the person he wants his favorite team’s best defensive player to continue to be.
But is Hynd a true fan? Considering he’s questioning “Fun Von,” Miller might not think so. But considering Hynd has been cheering for the Broncos since four years before Miller’s birth, Bronco Nation might disagree.
It’s true, Hynd hasn’t come out to watch the Broncos at training camp, which is an effort Miller apparently believes “true fans” should make.
But that would be a little difficult considering Hynd lives in Oklahoma.
One of those unfortunate souls born to a state without an NFL team, Hynd adopted the Broncos as his own back in 1985. He rooted for the team that won a Super Bowl in 1998 as hard as the one that went 6-10 the next season. He has a framed John Elway poster, Peyton Manning is currently serving as his cover photo on Facebook, and he swears he has Tim Tebow to thank for his high blood pressure.
In 1997, Hynd ponied up the dough for a divisional playoff ticket. He drove five hours to Arrowhead Stadium. He sat in the freezing rain and scraped the ice off his seat between trips to the can. He took the abuse from Kansas City Chiefs fans who continued to remind him the Broncos had never won a playoff game in their neck of the woods.
Then he pumped his fists until his extremities de-thawed when the Broncos won that game 14-10 en route to the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl championship.
So excuse Hynd if he has a few words for Von Miller about the 6-game suspension that might impact his beloved team’s chances of winning another Super Bowl title.
“It’s frustrating being a Bronco fan right now. It really is,” Hynd said. “I support my team. I always have. But I’m not going to stick up for this guy when he’s doing crap like this that could eventually get him kicked out of the league.”
And that’s the reality here. Regardless of what Miller did or did not do, he’s one more “did or did not do” away from a year-long suspension.
So excuse the media for reporting that, “Fun Von.” But just to be clear, the Broncos have lodged no complaints with the Denver Post about any of the anonymously-sourced suspension updates from their beat writer Mike Klis. In fact, Klis says the opposite is true.
“Actually, the Broncos often asked me what was going on with the case because they were often in the dark during the whole process,” Klis said.
So there you have it: “Fun Von’s” own team is as interested in what he’s been up to off the field as all of those less-than-true Broncos fans — the ones who have the gall to question Miller after not having cut work to watch him practice.
So pardon us all, “Fun Von.” Pardon us for asking questions. Pardon us for trying to get answers. But at the end of the day, that’s the job of the fans and the media.
You’re right, though. After all that questioning and answer seeking, we still don’t know what you did or did not do. Some of us know the real you, some of us don’t. But at the end of the day, that you do your job is all that Bronco fans — “true” and otherwise” — really want from you.
And it’s truly hard to do that from the sideline.