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Pat Summerall, “The Voice of Football,” dead at 82

By on April 17th, 2013

Legendary broadcaster Pat Summerall, best known for teaming with former Oakland Raiders head coach John Madden for 21 seasons, died on Tuesday. He was 82.

Summerall spent more than 40 years in broadcasting with CBS and Fox. Although he’s most remembered for his NFL coverage, he was also the voice of the Masters, and the US Open tennis tournament.

Here he is covering a Tampa Bay Buccaneers game in the 1990s for CBS.

Before becoming one of the greatest broadcasters of all-time, Summerall was a kicker in the NFL for 10 years.

He kicked one of the most memorable field goals in the history of the sport. In 1958, Summerall, then with the New York Giants, kicked a 49-yard field goal in a snowstorm at Yankee Stadium to edge the Cleveland Browns 13-10. This sent the Giants to a playoff for the Eastern Conference title.

The Giants would go on to lose in the NFL Championship game against the Baltimore Colts. That game was dubbed “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” and was the start of the NFL’s booming popularity.

He also played in the 1959 and 1961 NFL Championships with the Giants.

Summerall’s flair for the dramatic on the field, however, didn’t carry over into the booth. He was calm and collected and let the action on the field speak for itself.

He began his career doing sports shows for CBS Radio while playing for the Giants, then calling games for the team on TV. He would call eight Super Bowls throughout his career.

Summerall would team up with Madden in the 1981 season, and remain together on CBS until 1993. They switched to Fox in the ’94 season and end in ’01.

Their broadcast styles meshed well together. Summerall brought a player’s perspective to the game, while Madden brought the coaching strategy to television sets across the nation.

George Allen ”Pat” Summerall was born in Lake City and attended Columbia High School. He played tennis, baseball, basketball and football for the school. He was inducted into the Florida High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame and named to the FHSAA football All-Century team in 2007.

John Madden said that Summerall is ”the voice of football and always will be.”


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