The third of a golden trifecta of Los Angeles sportscasters along with Vin Scully and the Lakers’ great Chick Hearn. Photo courtesy of lapostexaminer.com
THOUGHTS OF THE MAN WHO ESSENTIALLY BROUGHT HOCKEY TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA THROUGH HIS MICROPHONE.
The Dodgers had (of course!) Vin Scully, wishing people a “Pleasant good afternoon, wherever you may be.”
The Lakers had Chick Hearn talking about how games were “In the refrigerator; the door is closed, the lights are out, the eggs are cold, the butter’s getting hard and the jello is jiggling!”
Both men brought baseball and pro basketball to the Los Angeles area through their words.
Bob Miller did the same for the Kings, and hockey in general; whoever would have thought that a winter sport born and based in Canada would have a chance to do well, let along thrive, in a warm weather climate otherwise?
For 44 years, he was the voice of the team that brought the National Hockey League – and hockey in general – to the West Coast.
And had the honor (I’m sure!) of calling the Kings’ two Stanley Cup titles.
Bob Miller’s call of the Kings winning their first Stanley Cup in 2012, courtesy of YouTube.
I have to be honest…
Though I was happy to see the Kings win those two Cups, I’m not much of a hockey fan.
I’ve never put on ice skates in my life, and despite people trying to explain it to me I still don’t understand what icing means.
I’ve never been to a hockey game in person and haven’t seen one on TV all the way through.
Bob Miller with the single greatest trophy in all of sports: Lord Stanley’s Cup (on the right). Photo courtesy of thehockeywriters.com
Plus compared to the other major sports in this country, hockey – until fairly recently as it is improving in this area – hasn’t exactly been known for its racial or ethnic diversity.
Which as opposed to baseball and particularly football and basketball had quite the influence on me as a kid.
Miller’s second iconic call; during the Kings’ epic Stanley Cup-clinching win over the New York Rangers in 2014, courtesy of YouTube.
One doesn’t have to be a hockey person to appreciate a man like Miller, whose brilliance on the mike at the Forum and later Staples Center for 44 seasons had just as much an impact as Hearn’s at the same venues and Scully’s at Dodger Stadium.
My biggest memory of Miller, who was inducted into Hockey’s Hall of Fame in 2000, was the fact that he served as the voice calling the Mighty Ducks games in those movies, particularly the 1994 sequel, D2, when those Bad News Bears of Hockey were playing big bad Iceland in the Junior Olympics Finals.
It saddened me when I heard about his failing health and his plans to call the Kings’ last two regular season home games on April 8th and 9th.
Along with Scully and Hearn, Miller was the last of a golden trifecta of sportscasters whom sports in Southern California wouldn’t be the powerful institution that it is without them.
It goes without saying that I wish Bob Miller nothing but the best in retirement after April 9th.
And that he – along with Scully, of course – lives a long time.
A special SoCal Sports Annals announcement concerning our hockey coverage:
Although we will not abandon our coverage of the Kings, the Ducks, and hockey in general,
Our resident “Hockey Lady”, Nichole Choice, has moved to Sacramento.
Since it wouldn’t make sense for her to write about Southern California sports when she lives in Nor Cal, it was time to bid adieu, but not without stating this…
It was an absolute pleasure to have Nichole as our Hockey Lady for the past two years as her enthusiasm and sunny disposition were quite infectious.
It was essential for the growth of this site.
For that, I am forever grateful.
And I – to state the obvious – wish Nichole absolutely nothing but the best.
The golden trifecta of sports broadcasting in Los Angeles and Southern California: The Kings’ Bob Miller (left), the Lakers’ Chick Hearn (center) and the Dodgers’ Vin Scully (right). Photo courtesy of usatoday.com