NFL Star Von Miller Hosts Community Festival in DeSoto

The two-time Super Bowl champion returned to his hometown to celebrate

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It was a big homecoming in DeSoto for one of the biggest names in the NFL on Saturday.

Von Miller – a DeSoto High School graduate and two-time Super Bowl Champion – hosted the 5th annual Von Miller Day festival at Ziegler Park in an effort to give back to his local fans and the community from which he came. The event was on hiatus for the last two years due to the pandemic.

“After COVID and everything, having everybody out and having fun – it’s great. It feels good to be back,” he told NBC 5. “I always think about the quote from Spiderman –  Uncle Ben said with great power comes great responsibility. This is how I feel. The more I have, the more I want to give back."

The event brought out hundreds of fans sporting jerseys and swag from all the teams Miller has ever played for: DeSoto High School, Texas A&M, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams and most recently, Buffalo Bills.

“I started out in Denver, went to LA, won a Super Bowl and then I ended up in Buffalo. It’s been crazy, it’s been fun,” Miller said. “I feel blessed and humbled just to have this experience.”

The linebacker was named Super Bowl MVP after helping the Broncos win Super Bowl 50 in 2015. Once he was traded to the LA Rams at the end of 2021, within months he helped that team claim victory in Super Bowl LVI this past February.

And just a month ago in March, he was traded to the Buffalo Bills, adding another team to the Miller fandom.

"They’re going to go to the Super Bowl with or without me," he said. "I’m excited to be part of the Bills Mafia. Take it one play at a time and one game at a time. And see where we can get.”

Fans like Robert Hartman, originally from the Buffalo, New York area, are banking on Miller’s talent to bring this team to Super Bowl victory.

“I’ve been a Von Miller fan since he was in college,” said Hartman. “The ability that he has to go into a locker room and change people's attitudes. I can see right now that he’s going to change a lot of the players' attitudes. Buffalo's gonna be a champion.”

Saturday’s event featured free food, 600 pounds of crawfish, games for the kids, a fan experience, prizes and more – all covered by Von Miller’s foundation. Vendors also offered their services for free to the community.

The experience was limited to 1,000 free tickets that festival-goers had to pre-register for. Much of Miller’s family, friends and other loved ones were in attendance as well.

"All of this represents my son. And what he’s all about – an open heart, wanting to give and see everybody happy,” said Von Miller Sr., the football star’s father.

Miller, Sr. said it's always been in his son to give back.

“That’s who Von is. It’s just something that wasn’t instilled in him, it’s just who he is. From even a small child, he’s always wanted to see people do better and to give, give more than he had,” he told NBC 5. “My wife and I, we work hard at being parents. I’ve never tried to be a coach. I’ve always tried to be a parent and steer him in the right direction. And along with the village that we live amongst, everybody helps.”

As he connected with his fans and his community on Saturday, Miller’s life story has come full circle in DeSoto.

“Whenever you’re doing something for somebody else, it brings the most out of you. That’s what I feel like,” he said. “Especially at this point in my career, whenever you're playing for teammates, family and friends – planning for something bigger than yourself, that’s when you get the most out of yourself."

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