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So Long, Johnny Miller

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I’m going to miss Johnny Miller for several reasons. Chief among them is this is the era of the robot announcer. Personality is often discouraged, Miller was grandfathered in for the most part but the day and age of honest analysis in sports is only granted to a precious few and those voices are being retired.

NBC’s lead golf analyst Miller will step away mid-tournament this week at the Phoenix Open, a place where he won during his pro career.  Miller has been NBC’s lead golf analyst in 1990 and it’s been a full nearly 29 years. He crossed two generations. One generation who saw him play and those of us who only knew him as the commentator in the pre-Tiger early and full Tiger eras and a little beyond.

Another reason why Miller will be missed is that he’s one of the few golf broadcasters who can actually tell you what it’s like to be headed down the 18th fairway tied or leading a major.   That’s not to say that every person behind the mic at the Golf Channel, CBS, NBC and FOX have no personality, quite the opposite but restraint is built-in.  Nobody wants to be shown the door. No one wants to be called the old curmudgeon and be rendered the get off my lawn guy by social media. That’s career suicide.

Miller will forever be known for his bluntness for as long as he is remembered.  He actually brought a lot of golf knowledge both on the mechanical but the psychological side.

An attribute that may go overlooked is that Miller’s voice is actually pleasant to listen too. He’s got great golf on TV voice, the way Nance has, the way his partner Dan Hicks has.  Yeah, it might have rubbed people the wrong way if he really went after a player but the mundane hole-to-hole commentary Miller was great to listen to. Golf doesn’t need a ton of talking, the views and the action lend to quietness. The sport itself is played in quietness.  Johnny Miller was huge for the game of golf, but even more impactful for bringing the game to millions of viewers in his career.

 

 

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