Monday, October 8, 2012

Johnny Miller Is Very Impressed By Johnny Miller

Johnny Miller is one of God's great gifts to humanity. Don't believe me? Well, then maybe you'll believe a certain expert on Johnny Miller named Johnny Miller! The December 2010 issue of Golf Digest contained a (very interesting) 4-page article about Miller. And in that article, Miller made it clear how impressed he is with himself. Not that there was ever any doubt about that, of course.

Within that one, 4-page article, all of the following quotes appear, from Miller about Miller. Enjoy (and remember - I am not making up any of these; they are all real):

"Sometimes I wonder how the world would be if there were a million Johnny Millers. I guess some would disagree, but I think it would be a better place." (Sometimes I wonder what the world be like if there were a million Johnny Millers each telling us all the time how good they were.)

"I'm sure I'll be like Jones was at Augusta and Jack at Muirfield Village and Arnold at Bay Hill. One of the common traits of great players is that everything has to be perfectly organized."

"... if you look at my career when I was on, Nicklaus even said that's the guy he wasn't sure he could beat."

"As far as hitting irons close to the hole, you'd have to say Byron Nelson, and then you'd have to give me a look."

"Sometimes when I just knew it was going to be stiff, I would raise my arm straight up while the ball was still in the air, kind of like a Babe Ruth thing." (If it's stiff for more than four hours, call a doctor.)

"Bottom line - maybe not in a major - I know that if I played my best and Nicklaus played his best and Tiger played his best, I definitely could have hung with them."

"I've played and seen a lot of great golf - I believe the era of my prime in the '70s was the greatest era of the game."

"I'm sort of like Simon Cowell: When I say it's a great shot, it must be a great shot."

"I've had this dream, maybe three times, where I'm working with Tiger and trying to teach him what I know about the game."

"I just wasn't willing to not be a good father."

"Tiger and I are the most similar in background of any of the great golfers."

"When I was about 8, I had this feeling come over me, like, 'You don't have to worry, you're going to be a champion golfer.' And it never wavered. It was a march to whoever I was going to be." (When I was about 8, I finally stopped eating paste.)

"I'm like a pro-level fisherman. I mean, I can catch fish with anybody." (Other things Johnny is pro-level at: origami, clogging, hair braiding, ice sculpture, watermelon-seed spitting and self-awareness.)

"If I'd had good putting, even with no practice, and not being that dedicated, I probably would have won 50 tournaments." (And if I could actually write, and wasn't the laziest person I know, I'd be working for Golf Digest!)

"The funny thing was that when I had the lead before the final round, I won three-quarters of the time, which was basically the highest percentage of anyone until Tiger."

"I did a lot with crappy putter and not liking competition. Go figure. I guess talent was my best weapon." (No, I'd say ego is your best weapon.)

Now, I have to be fair to Miller. I know, I know, being fair to Miller isn't any fun. But - full disclosure - I like Johnny Miller. And I agree with him about how good he was (if only for a brief period of time).

But to be fair: The article is actually about how someone with Miller's talent could lose his game so quickly and never fully recover it; and how someone with Miller's talent could fail to win more than two majors.

And Miller admits it: He couldn't handle the pressure. Johnny Miller, the man who introduced the word "choking" to golf telecasts, labels himself a choker. That's why the quote up above about hanging with Nicklaus and Tiger includes the caveat "maybe not in a major."

Johnny Miller the broadcaster would have called out Johnny Miller the player on national TV. Which is something that even a million Johnny Millers can appreciate. Especially given how much all those Johnny Millers enjoy talking about themselves.

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