Good afternoon everyone… this is Van Miller… “
Bills fans began hearing their football broadcast start with those words on day one. Van Miller called the team’s first 11 seasons and came back after a seven year hiatus to work 26 more.
Those words will never be spoken again. Miller passed away Friday at age 87 after a short illness. The Bills made the announcement on Saturday.
Miller’s 37 seasons doing play-by-play for an NFL team are the most in league history. Just before his final game in 2003, he spoke with News 8’s John Kucko about retirement.
“It’s something I’ve done for so many years in so many sports. For 55 years, I’ve been doing play by play. To suddenly give it up, it’s almost like losing your arm or something,” Miller said.
He called all four Buffalo Super Bowl runs and became famous for a variety of phrases including “fasten your seatbelts”, “do you believe it?” and of course, “It’s Pandemonium!”.
“I’ve always felt that I had the energy to do it,” Miller said. “You need a lot of energy to do play by play, I think. I think that’s one thing that I haven’t lost. The best part of the human anatomy, the strongest part is the voice.”
Miller did a ton more than football on the radio. He called pro and college basketball, Buffalo Bisons baseball, soccer, wrestling and golf. He hosted quiz shows and was the sports director at WIVB in Buffalo for decades.
“Play by play is the thing. It separates the men from the boys, especially radio play by play,” Miller said.
Arguably, Miller’s most famous call is a moment that has continuously haunted Bills fans: Super Bowl 25.
“I looked down on the sideline and I saw all the Bills and the coaches holding hands there,” Miller said. “Marv Levy down there. A 47 yard kick to win the Super Bowl. I called it the shot heard round the world.”
Van Miller didn’t just describe football games. He lived the highs and the lows right along with the Bills fans who loved him.