Archive for March, 2017
As you know, St. Patrick’s Day is next Friday. Here’s a special edition of Coach’s Corner for ye!
If you grew up in Los Angeles in the last 50 years, there have been voices synonymous with sports teams.
You talk about Laker basketball, you talk about Chick Hearn.
You talk about Dodger baseball, you talk about Vin Scully.
You talk about Kings hockey, you talk about Bob Miller.
Since 1973, Miller, 78, has been mic side at every Kings game from The Forum to Staples Center, until last January, when he decided to undergo quadruple bypass surgery. This off-season, Miller announced he would work a reduced schedule — 76 games, including all Kings home games. However, a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), and a mild stroke suffered at the NHL All-Star Weekend, which led to a stent being inserted into his left carotid artery, along with doctor’s advice to slow it down, led to the decision today that he will officially retire after this season, but not before he calls the final two games of the Kings’ season — the home finale April 8 against the Chicago Blackhawks, and the season finale the next afternoon against the Ducks in Anaheim. Fitting that the final two games of Miller’s career come against two of the Kings biggest rivals: one where the Kings’ two Stanley Cup Championships had its genesis (not to mention, this was the team Miller grew up rooting for as a child), and the other, a budding rivalry separated by The 5 Freeway when the Ducks came into the NHL as an expansion team in 1993.
You take a look at the 50-year history of the Kings, Bob Miller has worked for every person who has owned Los Angeles’ hockey team: Jack Kent Cooke, Dr. Jerry Buss, Bruce McNall, and Phil Anschutz. He’s been there for every major moment: Marcel Dionne scoring his 500th goal, the Miracle on Manchester, Wayne Gretzky passing Gordie Howe in both points and goals, the Stunner at Staples, the Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium, and most importantly, the Kings greatest’ achievement — the two Stanley Cup Championships won in 2012 and 2014. When Bob signs off for the final time on April 9, this will mark the end of a Golden Era in Los Angeles sports that has seen sixteen championships won from 1959-2014 (nine NBA Championships, five World Series Championships, two Stanley Cups). Few people can call themselves the greatest. Vin, Chick, and Bob are three of the greatest voices in their respective sports, and to have them in the second-largest city in the United States at the same time is once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. You should be blessed that they represented these teams. You should be blessed that they represented the City of Angels. You should be blessed that they were here to shape the soundtrack of life in Southern California.
Three years ago, Los Angeles Daily News writer Tom Hoffarth wrote an article on the most influential play-by-play men in Southern California sports history. He also ranked the Top 10 broadcasting teams in Los Angeles sports. The team of Bob Miller and Jim Fox were ranked #1 on the list. For 26 seasons, Miller’s storytelling along with Fox’s enthusiasm and knowledge of the game were synonymous with Kings broadcasts. Two of the best moments occurred during Game 6 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, and Game 5 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. The two videos below, courtesy of Kings Vision, Miller and Kings radio announcer Nick Nickson recall how they called the two greatest moments in Kings history: the night the Kings won the Stanley Cup on Staples Center ice (the top video from 2012, the bottom video from 2014).