Remembering Van Miller : "The Voice of the Buffalo Bills"

Title

Remembering Van Miller : "The Voice of the Buffalo Bills"

Description

Van Miller (1927 - 2015) is remembered as one of the greatest local broadcasters of the National Football League. As “The Voice of the Buffalo Bills” for thirty-seven years, Miller reflected the unyielding enthusiasm of the Buffalo fans who reveled in their team’s four consecutive Super Bowl appearances.

Born in Dunkirk, New York, south of Buffalo, Miller’s career echoed his calls in the booth, building to a crescendo from humble beginnings as a summer replacement announcer at WBEN-TV (now WIVB-TV) in the mid-1950s to the station’s legendary sports anchor. His upbeat delivery was punctuated by humor and wit, which became his trademarks on the air. He retired from WIVB in 1998 after a forty-three year run.

In 2004, Van Miller became the first local play-by-play announcer to be honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Ten years later his name was added to the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame at the team’s home stadium in Orchard Park, New York.

During his final interview with WIVB-TV Senior Correspondent Rich Newberg, Miller reflected on his broadcast career in Buffalo, saying, “ That was a great ride. I was the luckiest man in the world.”

Miller coined many phrases and catchwords that added to his signature style during Bills games. During the final days of his life, when he was barely able to speak, Van Miller mustered enough energy to raise his hands from his bedsheets and utter a parting word to his Channel 4 colleagues who came to say their final goodbye. It was his word describing the euphoria when the Bills would score a winning touchdown. “Fan-damonium!” Van’s longtime WIVB-TV colleagues who were at his bedside, anchor Jacquie Walker, senior correspondent Rich Newberg, and meteorologist Don Paul, believe Miller wanted Buffalo fans to know they were still number one on his mind.

Date

2015-20-07

Source

Rich Newberg Reports Collection

Publisher

WIVB (Television Station: Buffalo, N.Y.)
Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
(publisher of digital)

Rights

Copyright held by WIVB-TV. Access to this digital version provided by the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. Videos or images in this collection are not to be used for any commercial purposes without the expressed written permission of WIVB-TV and the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. Users of this website are free to utilize material from this collection for non-commercial and educational purposes.