After nearly 30 years in the booth, Johnny Miller will call his final NBC broadcast on Saturday while working part of Friday’s Waste Management Open telecast on Golf Channel.
The broadcast, with NBC filling in for Super Bowl broadcaster CBS, will represent the 20th consecutive year of Miller and Dan Hicks making them the longest-tenured 18th tower tandem in broadcast golf history.
The farewells are flowing and the takes have all been a bit different.
David Feherty’s reflections as only Feherty can summarize a career.
Eamon Lynch points out how players came around to respecting Johnny after some rough days early on. Winning at Pebble Beach in 1994 delivered another level of street cred for those who forgot how incredible he was in the mid-1970s.
Speaking of that, Jim McCabe looks back at Johnny’s special relationship with desert golf.
Jerry Tarde recalls various Johnny stories for Golf Digest.
Tom Hoffarth reminds us how much we’ll miss Miller.
Of course the late Dick Enberg is gone but another sidekick of Johnny’s remembered him on this week’s Real Sports. The video here, the text of Bryant Gumbel’s remarks below:
After 29 years as golf’s preeminent analyst, Johnny is calling it quits, leaving his seat in the tower on the 18th hole, and leaving a television void that is irreplaceable.
I had the pleasure of being Johnny’s TV partner on his very first broadcast back in 1990. That’s when he famously used the word ‘choke’ as a player stood over an important shot. In subsequent tournaments, he raised hackles by saying one player ‘should’ve just stayed home,’ and that another had a swing ‘that would make a great player puke.’
That such remarks often caused a raucous speaks well of Johnny, and less so of the sad lack of candor in televised sports. In a business that is too often bland, Miller’s honesty has been unusual, his insights blunt, and his assessments smart.
That’s been his stock and trade since Day 1, so on his last day there’s no telling just what he might say from the PGA Tour stop in Phoenix this weekend.
Look – televised golf may not be your thing, but if you never caught Johnny Miller’s work, you should try it, because there’s no one quite like him in all of live sports broadcasting.
Given the increasing coddling of modern athletes in general, and touring pros in particular, I doubt there ever will be.
Mike O’Malley compiles the best of Johnny wisdom through the years.
Skratch put together this tribute of Johnny being Johnny moments: