ST. LOUIS Rams fullback Brit Miller has never had much to brag about when it comes to his personal physique. So the 6-foot, 253-pounder recently decided to poke fun at himself for a good cause.
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 dont have abs, Miller says. My mom always tells me Im not fat, but were 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 aint tight, the chubby aint right, and Im 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 shouldnt put on shirts.
Some of the big guys like them. I think the best seller is, If the shirt aint tight, the chubby aint 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 thats what were trying to do.
The kids love it when you show up. All they want is your time, they dont care if you are in the NFL or not. Its 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. Its 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 underappreciated positions on the field but one of the most important to an offenses success.
The Decator, Illinois, 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. Its one of the more physical positions on the field and comes with little public reward. But thats just how Miller likes it.
Ive been on both sides, Miller said. I played linebacker and it was all about tackles. It wasnt ever about passes defended or things like that. At this level Im having a lot of fun with the fullback position because playing offense is definitely new for me but its still running and hitting and being physical like I like to play the game.
Its a lackluster position, youre 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 dont want to be out there for yourself as a fullback. If you are, you probably arent 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 doesnt 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 thats 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. Its 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, thats what you work for in this game, respect and going out and playing this game hard every day.
Whether its 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 wouldnt have it any other way.