Ryan Mill is more than halfway through his fifth season as the Penguins' public address announcer. This means that many fans of the team believe he has just arrived.
“People still think he's the new guy,” said his father, Bob Mill.
Ryan Mill chalks it up to the nature of a city that hugs history and tradition with a full-body squeeze. He figures he has “about 10 more years” before the newness wears off. Then, again, he's had a tough act to follow.
For 36 years, Mill's predecessor, John Barbero, filled Mellon Arena, the Igloo, with his smooth delivery and signature calls (“Mario Lemieuuuxxx!”). He was a familiar, even beloved figure. The label, “iconic,” has been applied.
“John sounded like your kindly uncle, your kindly neighbor, a guy you wanted to mentor you,” Mill said. “He was unlike any other announcer because he wasn't yellin' and rantin' and ravin'.”
Which, he added, “I got flamed for.”
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