Up until 2003, Van Miller was one of the longest-tenured local voices in the NFL. He died over the weekend at the age of 87. Miller was at the mic when the Bills began in the American Football League in 1960 and went continuously in the broadcast booth until 1970 and picked up the mic for the team once again in 1978 until his retirement in 2003.

The Bills released a statement on the passing of Miller:

“As the ‘Voice of the Bills,’ Van’s historic radio calls of Bills games over the years will forever resonate with our fans. His Hall of Fame and Wall of Fame talent was overshadowed only by his engaging personality, his witty sense of humor and his love for the Bills. We will all dearly miss ‘Uncle Van,’ but his legacy will remain deeply embedded in our franchise’s history and in the hearts of his countless fans in Western New York and throughout the NFL community.”

Miller was in the broadcast booth for all of the Bills Super Bowl appearances in the early 1990’s and behind the mic when the Bills made their miraculous comeback 41-38 in the 1992 AFC Wild Card Game against the Houston Oilers.


To show you the impact of Miller on Western New York, all of the local stations gave lengthy portions of their newscasts on Saturday to cover his death. Alan Pergament of the Buffalo News said it was justified for the broadcasting icon:

All three local news departments did a terrific job in their tributes to Miller on Saturday. Some people might have thought all the attention was a little excessive, even for a Western New York broadcasting icon. But Saturdays are often very slow news days, so there is little reason to complain even about Channel 7 going more than 10 minutes on Miller at the top of one newscast. Saturday anchor Hannah Buehler, who used to work for the Bills, did an exceptional job for Channel 7 that solidified the view that she can go places in news.

But Channel 4 was the place to watch. It had the advantage of having file footage of Van on the station over the years, including a very funny scene in which Miller was singing.

Miller was also the voice of the old Buffalo Braves NBA team from 1971-77 as well as a weather reporter and a game show host. He was known as “Uncle Van” to his fans and was a fixture in the community.

His passing was noted this past Sunday on SportsCenter by Bills fan Kevin Connors:

Miller is survived by his wife, two children and three grandchildren.

[Associated Press]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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