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Richard Hyatt: The fading art of sports announcing

Scott Miller was a rock 'n' roll morning man at an outrageous FM station when he arrived in 1977.

We knew him as Uncle Scotty, and we wondered what he would do next.

He's older now, and his hair took an extended commercial break years ago. His AM morning show is now so sedate that it threatens to put us back to sleep.

But this isn't what listeners remember him for. Sports fans know Scott as a gifted play-by-play man who deserves to be working in a bigger market.

He's the voice of Columbus State University. But to people who follow Cougar basketball and baseball games, he is Columbus State University.

The institution has gone from college to university. They play in an arena instead of a gym. They've competed in various conferences and head coaches have come and gone. The constant is Scott Miller, imploring us to find our lucky spot when games are in jeopardy.

His is a fading art. Old school announcers painted a picture. They told us to picture our radio dial as the playing field and we did, in an era when radios had a dial. Scott is that way. Yes, he's a homer. He gets heartburn when CSU loses but never forgets that his job is to be our eyes and ears and, on occasion, our heart.

Sometimes I fear we take Scott for granted. He sees it differently. "People who've been here a long time are comfortable hearing me. They know what to expect."

He started doing Cougar games two years after arriving from Athens, Ga.

"That was something I wanted to do eventually and when I stared I thought this would be just a stop in the road. In broadcasting you had a short tenure somewhere, and then you moved on."

Not Scott. He never had a burning desire to change call letters. "When I started I was just a little older than the players. Now I'm just a little older than the players' grandparents," he laughs.

Last weekend, the Georgia Association of Broadcasters gave Scott Miller a merit award. He was honored for his description of a CSU loss at Young Harris College. A trip to the conference tournament was on the line in a game that went into overtime.

He shines in such moments. He pushes drama through the phone line and shares compelling moments like no other. He collected more points than any entry other than the Atlanta Falcon network, which finished first. Scott is low-key, sometimes to his detriment. This was the first time he had ever entered such a contest, and his family joined him when he received the Gabby Award.

It made him feel good to compete with the Big Boys, which is what he should have been doing all along.