Van Miller, the legendary voice of the Buffalo Bills, will become the first broadcaster to receive any NFL team's top honor when he is enshrined on the Buffalo Bills' Wall of Fame this fall.
For 37 seasons, Miller called the games on the radio. rom the team's AFL championship years, to "Fandemonium", to "Wide Right", to "The Comeback", Miller's voice is as integral to memories of the Bills as the images themselves.
Per The Buffalo News, Miller holds the distinction as the longest-serving radio announcer in NFL history. He served from the team's first game in 1960 to 1971, and again from 1979 through the 2003 season, a 37-year run interrupted only by the sale of broadcasting rights from WBEN to WKBW.
"First of all, I was totally shocked," Miller told The News. "I never expected this. Mary Wilson called me to congratulate me and she told me how thrilled she was. And she said Ralph would be very happy this happened. I'm honored."
To make matters somewhat awkward, Miller is one of the eight voting Wall of Fame committee members. When his successor, John Murphy, brought Miller's name to the group, it was nearly a unanimous vote. Seven votes went to Miller. Miller voted for Cornelius Bennett.
"Can anybody imagine Bills' history without Van's voice on the soundtrack? Can you tell the team's story without mentioning Van? You can't,'' said Murphy. "If there were a fan vote, he would've been on the Wall already.''
Miller has previously been inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame (1999) and was the first local media personality to receive the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame (2004). Miller will be honored on October 12 when the Bills host the New England Patriots.