ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It was the most classic case of Von being Von. If you’ve ever heard it, you could hear Miller’s signature cackle from anywhere in the country. The NFL’s biggest goof just being a goof.
It may have cost the Broncos the game.
With just under eight minutes left in the contest, the Broncos got a huge third down stop, forcing a Buffalo punt with a chance to get the ball and orchestrate a potential game-tying drive.
After Von Miller pummeled Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor and forced an errant pass that was tipped by Adam Gotsis at the line, he reached his hand out to help Taylor up. Then—as only Von can—he pulled the hand away as if to say “too slow!” Taylor got up on his own and just as he gave Von a you-got-me point to go along with a chuckle of his own, the ref reached for his hankey.
Unsportsmanlike conduct. 15 yards. Game over.
“It hits you in the stomach,” Miller said, with a look on his face that embodied “No Fun League.”
The man who—even after tough losses—usually keeps a smile on his face, looked like he had just seen a ghost.
“I don’t even talk to quarterbacks,” Von said, flabbergasted. “I don’t even do anything with quarterbacks.”
Head coach Vance Joseph had to hold back a smile of disbelief when talking about the play.
“I guess Von gave him a hand to help the guy up, he pulled the hand away,” the head coach detailed. “He called it, so that’s what he thought it was. It’s pro football, he called it.”
It’s one of those plays that will live in infamy, not only in Denver but in NFL circles all over the country. It will be talked about at length on every sports talk show in America, but in the end, Derek Wolfe may have said it better than anyone else will be able to.
“The whole world is so sensitive that it makes me want to throw up,” he exclaimed with a furled brow. “Everybody needs to get over it. If people are playing a joke on each other, it’s just a joke. If the other guy is laughing about it, then it’s obviously just a joke. We’re out there playing a child’s game; we’re gonna do childish things to each other. As long as you’re not punching somebody in the face, poking each other in the eyes, choking each other out—what about last week when they tried to take his knee out? You don’t hear people complaining about that, but they’re mad because Von stuck his hand out and acted like he was gonna help him up and pilled it away? Everybody needs to quit being so sensitive, just grow up.”
Miller, the consulate pro, can take all the blame, he can say he has to be better and that he can’t do it again, but even the most die-hard Bills fan will tell you who was in the wrong on Sunday afternoon.
Let the “kids” play.