ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — In the hours after a Broncos win, the two friends sat and talked in the parking lot of Broncos Stadium at Mile High.
One, a Philadelphia-area native. A biology/pre-med student at Temple. A kicker since his days at North Penn High School.
The other, the pride of DeSoto, Texas. A life sciences and agriculture student at Texas A&M. A terror on the defensive side of the ball.
Kicker Brandon McManus and outside linebacker Von Miller may not seem to have much in common, outside of being key pieces on the team that delivered a Super Bowl 50 title to Denver.
McManus went 10-for-10 on field goals in that postseason. Miller? Well, you already know.
During their three-game run, Miller recorded 6.5 sacks, including a pair of strip sacks in Super Bowl 50.
There’s more, though, that connects the close friends.
There’s fashion and there’s humor. There’s a shared trust.
“I trust B-Mac with a lot of different opinions,” Miller said Monday. “It’s not just gambling or casino night or golf swings or advice like that, I really trust him with my life and the direction I’m going with my life. We built a solid relationship over time.”
And now they can add “family” to the bonds that connect them.
On that fall afternoon in the parking lot of the Broncos’ stadium, McManus and his wife, Nadia, offered Miller a role that will connect him forever to their family.
Nadia was scheduled to give birth to twins a few weeks from that moment, and the couple wanted Miller to be the godfather of their second-born child.
To Miller, serving as the godfather of the second child just made sense.
“‘I was the second pick in the draft. I know how it feels to be No. 2. I should be the godfather of the No. 2 child,’” Miller remembers saying. ‘He was like, ‘You know what? You’re right.’
And so, the Super Bowl 50 MVP, three-time All-Pro and defensive rookie of the year added another title to his resume: Luca’s godfather.
It’s an honor that Miller doesn’t take lightly.
“It’s probably one of the dopest things I’ve ever been a part of,” Miller said.
He recently got the chance to meet Nadia and McManus’ other son, Caden. Since they were born in late January, Miller has realized he can’t just serve as the godfather of one child. Caden is technically the godson of McManus’ brother-in-law, but Miller knows he’ll watch out for both boys.
“That’s my teammate,” Miller said. “I get to spend time with those guys, and I get to see Luca and Caden a lot and be able to feed them and really be involved in their life from a very early age. It’s dope.”
Miller lives just down the street from McManus, so he plans on popping over often to make sure McManus and his wife have everything under control.
“B-Mac lives right down the street, so I can just go over there and spend time with them,” Miller said. “He needs a lot of help. There’s not just one; there’s two of them. Sometimes Nadia, she’s under the weather, and B-Mac has stuff to do, so it’s perfect for me. I fill the description out 100 percent of being a godfather.”
Miller, though, may be more fearless taking on offensive tackles than he is around Luca and Caden. The first time he helped feed the boys, he seemed a little apprehensive to McManus.
“He was a little tentative and a little nervous feeding them,” McManus said. “[He] didn’t want to hurt them too much. He’s done great.”
Miller said he plans to stay away from at least one aspect of the fill-in parenting responsibilities. Luca’s diapers, it seems, will be left to McManus and his wife.
“I’ve got to wait for my own kids to change diapers,” Miller said with a laugh. “Everything other than that, I’m all for it. It’s really dope to be involved in their lives, especially at an early age.”
McManus, who has grown close with Miller’s family, said Miller was an obvious choice.
“To me, [Miller] was just somebody I knew that cared about me and my family,” McManus said. “[He’s] somebody that, God forbid, if something happens, he would always look out for my family.
“He’s a great friend of mine, and it would be awesome to have him [around them] throughout his whole life.”