The broadcast world has lost a legendary voice. Long-time CBS and Fox Sports NFL broadcaster Pat Summerall passed away yesterday at the age of 82. Summerall was at the Texas’ Zale Lipshy Hospital recovering from surgery for a broken hip when he passed away in his room.
Born and raised in Florida, Summerall’s sports career began at an early age. He played football, basketball and baseball at the University of Arkansas before being signed to play first base for the St. Louis Cardinals’ Class C team. His move to the NFL occurred in 1952 when he went to play for the Detroit Lions. Summerall spent ten years as a professional football player in the NFL, primarily as a placekicker.
Summerall’s career as an announcer began with CBS, where he was paired with veteran announcer Tom Brookshier before teaming up with color commentator John Madden for 21 season’s. Summerall remained with CBS from 1961 to 1993. In 1994 Summerall moved to Fox, where he continued to announce until his retirement after the 2002 season. Summerall covered a record 16 Super Bowls during his career, the first 5 as an analyst and an additional 8 with Madden. Summerall and Madden’s 1982 coverage of the Super Bowl remains to this day the highest-rated sports program of all time.
Yesterday the Dallas Morning News wrote of Summerall’s signature booming voice and impact on the NFL: “Employing a signature succinct staccato style that was brief and to the point, Pat Summerall grew into the pre-eminent network NFL voice for a generation of television viewers.”