Former Mesa QB Mark Miller checks Super Bowl off bucket list
When Mark Miller was playing in the NFL, he hoped he’d one day play in the Super Bowl.
When a bad shoulder cut the former quarterback’s career short of that goal, he put attending a Super Bowl on his to-do list.
Today, Miller, the general manager at Bozarth-Miller Chevrolet Buick, can check “attend Super Bowl” off his list.
He was on the winning team at Marques Harris’ benefit golf tournament last summer, and the prize was four tickets to the Super Bowl.
Harris, a former linebacker for the San Diego Chargers who graduated from Grand Junction High School, conducted a football camp and benefit golf tournament as part of his foundation last summer. Miller ended up with two tickets, and it was a pretty easy decision who would be going to the game with him.
His son, Scott, a former wide receiver at Fruita Monument, got the second ticket, and the two are spending some quality father-son time in Indianapolis.
Miller signed as a free agent with the Denver Broncos in 1986 after graduating from what was then Mesa College, where he led the Mavericks to the NAIA semifinals. He was injured during preseason that year with the Broncos and spent the season rehabbing his shoulder. Buffalo picked up his contract from the Broncos after the ‘86 season and he played in one game for the Bills during the 1987 season.
The Millers left Friday and were able to get to Indianapolis despite the winter storm that snarled air traffic all day out of Denver International Airport.
“We got delayed out of Denver, but we got here,” Mark Miller said Saturday afternoon. “We just got back from the Super Bowl Village and we’re going to hang out for a few hours and go back.”
Miller, who also owns a Chevrolet dealership with Ed Bozarth in Las Vegas, was in Nevada for 11 days checking on that franchise, got home midweek, spent one day at the Grand Junction dealership catching up and was off again.
“I’ll get things handled and get out (Friday),” he said Thursday afternoon. “It’s almost a pain in the butt to go. Maybe it would be better (to stay home and watch on TV). No, it will be a great three days for me and my son to spend some time together and hopefully enjoy a good game.”
Scott Miller, 21, is a sophomore at Colorado Mesa, and it’s not the first time he and his dad have attended a big sporting event together. The two attended the Colorado Rockies’ first World Series game, arriving a couple of innings late because Scott and the Wildcats had a game that afternoon on the Front Range.
As soon as the ‘Cats broke their post-game huddle, Scott and Mark sprinted to their vehicle, with Scott changing out of his uniform on the way to Coors Field.
That won’t be the case today; they’ll have plenty of time before kickoff at Lucas Oil Stadium to take in their first Super Bowl in person.
“It’s kind of been on my bucket list,” Mark said. “I finally made it to the World Series when the Rockies got there; that was a great time. I’ve never been to a live hockey game. I don’t understand the game that well, but I’ve heard they’re great in person and tons of action. I’d rather go to a Final Four than the NBA Finals.”
Once they made it to Indy, Scott was going to set the agenda.
“Whatever Scott wants to do,” Mark said. “He wants to do the NFL Experience, so we’ll probably spend three or four hours there doing that. There are a lot of different parties and dinners Saturday evening. I don’t know if we’re going to do any of that.”
Today, though, is a day to party.
“Sunday there’s a big tailgate party and I told him we’d probably go there,” Mark said. “We’re going to the Rolling Stones Tailgate Bash at some venue a block from the stadium. I looked at the lineup to see who’s there, I don’t know if (the Rolling Stones) are playing or not. There are some other bands that will be there. It better be a good event for the price of admission. They’d better be serving some good food.”
But then again, the two of them are OK with a dog and a beer at the stadium, as long as they see some high-flying offense.
As long as Tom Brady and Eli Manning light it up and Wes Welker, Victor Cruz and the rest of the big-name receivers make some highlight-reel catches, the Millers don’t care who wins.
Remember, this is a father-son quarterback-receiver duo. A handful of field goals isn’t going to cut it.
“I want to see offense,” the former QB said. “I didn’t want to see San Francisco and the Ravens and have it be 9-6. I was hoping for New Orleans or the Giants to go with the Patriots. I want to see some scoring; 55-47 would be fine.”