Rams fullback takes pride in helping others
AUG 16, 2012 10:28a ET
Miller teamed with Dpcted Apparel to form the Chubby Domination clothing line, which currently consists of shirts with four different slogans that poke fun at chubby people like himself.
Proceeds from the sales benefit the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation and Our Little Haven, a St. Louis group that helps prevent child abuse and assists with the treatment of abused or neglected children.
“I get called the chubby guy and stuff like that because I don’t have abs,” Miller says. “My mom always tells me I’m not fat, but we’re in a business where everybody has abs and things like that but I was never able to get them.
“We knew we wanted to do something for the charity after winning the Ed Block Courage Award. They definitely encourage you to go out to your local Ed Block Courage House and give back and we saw a way to do that and make it fun and make funny T-shirts but at the same time, giving them the money they need.”
After being named the Rams' recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award in 2011, Miller traveled to Baltimore and saw some of the affected children up close. The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation currently has Courage Houses in 20 NFL cities and recipients of the award are encouraged to get involved with their local house.
The shirts come with one of four slogans: "Chubby Domination," "Never pick the chubby guy last," "If the shirt ain’t tight, the chubby ain’t right," and "I’m that chubby dude." They sell for $24.99 and are available at DPCTED.com.
“We had a little email chain going with some buddies and things like that and obviously doing it for the kids we wanted to keep them clean,” Miller said. “We had some pretty funny ones that we decided we probably shouldn’t put on shirts.
“Some of the big guys like them. I think the best seller is, "If the shirt ain’t tight, the chubby ain’t right." I think it will definitely be our best seller when this thing comes to an end.”
Miller, 25, joked that the shirts are, “just for chubby people that want to look good,” and said he hopes to continue to develop new slogans and apparel in the future. They recently began printing gel bracelets that say "Chubby Domination," which Miller has worn during practices this summer.
But in addition to the money he hopes to raise with his new clothing line, Miller has visited the Our Little Haven Courage House several times to offer his help and support in person.
“You see kids that have gone through more than you will ever go through,” Miller said. “We have the ability to stand up for these kids and do something for them and that’s what we’re trying to do.
“The kids love it when you show up. All they want is your time, they don’t care if you are in the NFL or not. It’s one of those cool equalizers in life when you go there and they just want to hang out with you no matter who you are. It’s pretty cool to know that those kinds of things exist for kids who need it.”
Miller has done most of his charity work behind the scenes and out of the limelight, similar to that of his play on the football field. Fullbacks are one of the most under-appreciated positions on the field but one of the most important to an offense’s success.
The Decatur, Ill., native played linebacker at the University of Illinois before the San Francisco 49ers switched him to fullback in 2009 – a move that likely kept his career alive. He signed with the Rams in 2010 and served as their primary fullback last season, a spot he hopes to keep this year.
Fullbacks rarely get to run the ball or catch a pass. Instead, their main job is to protect the quarterback on passing plays or open up lanes on running plays. It’s one of the more physical positions on the field and comes with little public reward. But that’s just how Miller likes it.
“I’ve been on both sides,” Miller said. “I played linebacker and it was all about tackles. It wasn’t ever about passes defended or things like that. At this level I’m having a lot of fun with the fullback position because playing offense is definitely new for me but it’s still running and hitting and being physical like I like to play the game.
“It’s a lackluster position, you’re not getting much respect, but the guys on the field -- your teammates -- give it to you because they know the pounding you take to get them places. In the end, you have to be a team guy. You don’t want to be out there for yourself as a fullback. If you are, you probably aren’t going to be around long.”
Miller had five carries for 14 yards and three catches for 41 yards last year. And those eight plays were probably the only time Rams fans heard his name all season.
He doesn’t get nearly the respect or recognition he did as a linebacker despite impacting the game arguably as much if not more as a fullback. But that’s just fine with him.
“It was a huge change because you go from making plays and getting up, celebrating after every tackle to hitting a guy and get run over in the backfield and you are pulling yourself up off the pile but everybody is cheering for Steven for his five-yard gain,” Miller said. “It’s just one of those things. Steve is really good to me about it. He definitely appreciates it, so to have a future Hall of Famer give you respect in the locker room, that’s what you work for in this game, respect and going out and playing this game hard every day.”
Whether it’s at the Our Little Haven or out on the football field, Miller spends most of his time helping others. And despite the lack of recognition, he wouldn’t have it any other way.
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