Broadcaster who used a minimum of words teamed with Madden
Pat Summerall, who was half of one of the best-known announcing teams in television sportscasting history as John Madden's broadcasting...
Pat Summerall, who was half of one of the best-known announcing teams in television sportscasting history as John Madden's broadcasting partner for more than two decades of NFL games, died Tuesday. He was 82.
Summerall, who lived in Southlake, Texas, died at a Dallas hospital, where he was recovering from surgery for a broken hip, according to a report in The Dallas Morning News.
Known for his deep, resonant voice and a smooth, understated delivery that wasted no words, Summerall worked with Tom Brookshier on the NFL for CBS from 1975 and was paired with Madden in 1981.
Summerall and Madden went as a team to Fox in 1994 after that network acquired NFL rights, and the pair remained a team through the 2002 Super Bowl.
"He was one of the card-carrying good guys," Madden said Tuesday. "He was so solid and a good friend and a real pro. You know in TV some of these guys have all the numbers and stats and notes? Pat would come to a broadcast with nothing. It was all in his head."
Summerall was the low-key, concise counterpoint to Madden, a former NFL coach who offered meandering yet knowledgeable analysis.
"In one sentence he could say what would take others two or three paragraphs to say," Madden said. "He'd hit it right on the head. That was why he was so great to work with. In all the time I worked with him, we never had one argument. Even off air. ... That was because of him. I'm not the easiest person to get along with, but he was."
In 1999, Summerall was inducted into the American Sportscasters Association's Hall of Fame. He worked 16 Super Bowls for CBS and Fox, the most by any network announcer.
Summerall also broadcast NBA games, Masters golf and U.S. Open tennis.
Before becoming a broadcaster, Summerall played 10 seasons in the NFL, primarily as a kicker with the Detroit Lions, Chicago Cardinals and New York Giants.
Summerall battled alcoholism throughout much of his life and wrote about it in his 2006 autobiography, "Pat Summerall: On and Off the Air." He had a liver transplant in 2004.