April 16, 2013

Pat Summerall, voice of NFL, dies at 82

As John Madden's longtime partner, Summerall was one of the most famous broadcasters in NFL history, calling 16 Super Bowls.

The Associated Press

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In this Feb. 3, 2002, file photo, Fox broadcasters Pat Summerall, left, and John Madden stand in the booth at Louisiana Superdome before the NFL Super Bowl XXXVI football game in New Orleans. Fox Sports spokesman Dan Bell said Tuesday, April 16, 2013, that Summerall, the NFL player-turned-broadcaster whose deep, resonant voice called games for more than 40 years, has died at the age of 82. (AP Photo/Ric Feld, File)

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In this Sept. 17, 1960, file photo, New York Giants placekicker Pat Summerall poses for a portrait in New York. Fox Sports spokesman Dan Bell said Tuesday, April 16, 2013, that Summerall, the NFL player-turned-broadcaster whose deep, resonant voice called games for more than 40 years, has died at the age of 82. (AP Photo/John Rooney, File)

Additional Photos Below

Summerall was part of the CBS broadcast of the inaugural Super Bowl in Los Angeles on Jan. 15, 1967. After working the first half in the broadcast booth, he switched places with Gifford at halftime and was a sideline reporter during the second half.

"To look at the Coliseum that day and see that there were like 40,000 empty seats and the most expensive ticket was $12, it's incredible to realize what was going on and what it's grown to over the years," he said during the 2009 AP interview. "It's sort of staggering to me."

Summerall, who spent his final years in the Dallas area, living in Southlake, was a member of the North Texas Super Bowl host committee for the game played there in February 2011 in the $1.1 billion Cowboys Stadium that opened in 2009.

"He was royalty in the broadcast booth," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "There is no question that Pat broadcast more Dallas games on CBS and FOX than any other man, and this is a great loss for thousands of Cowboys fans who spent their Sunday afternoons in the living room with Pat."

Summerall became a play-by-play announcer in 1974, and it was strictly by accident. He was working with Jack Buck, and CBS boss Bob Wussler thought the two commentators sounded too much alike. Summerall told Wussler that if a change was going to be made that he'd like to do play-by-play, and the following Sunday that's what Summerall was doing.

After his final game with Madden, Summerall remained a full-time broadcaster for Fox one more season, doing primarily Dallas Cowboys games during the 2002 season. He decided to step down the following year when he realized he would spend most of the season away from home.

Summerall did a handful of NFL games for Fox and ESPN the next few seasons. He did play-by-play for Fox's broadcast of the Cotton Bowl's games from 2007-10, then for the bowl's 75th anniversary in January 2011 conducted interviews as part of the pregame show and game broadcast. He also had voiceovers that were part of Masters broadcasts for CBS and game broadcasts on NFL Network.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete.

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Additional Photos

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In this Nov. 8, 1959, file photo, New York Giants place kicker Pat Summerall shows off kicking shoe for photographers in the locker room after making three field goals to help the team to a 9-3 win over the Chicago Cardinals at Yankee Stadium in New York. Fox Sports spokesman Dan Bell said Tuesday, April 16, 2013, that Summerall, the NFL player-turned-broadcaster whose deep, resonant voice called games for more than 40 years, has died at the age of 82. (AP Photo/John Lindsay, File)

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In this April 19, 1994, file photo, Pat Summerall, completing his 34th and final season with CBS, receives an award for lifetime achievement at the 1994 Sports Emmy Awards in New York. Fox Sports spokesman Dan Bell said Tuesday, April 16, 2013, that Summerall, the NFL player-turned-broadcaster whose deep, resonant voice called games for more than 40 years, has died at the age of 82. (AP Photo/Rob Clark, File)

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In this Jan. 23, 1994, file photo, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, left, talks with CBS commentator Pat Summerall before the NFL football NFC championship game between the Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers in Irving, Texas. Fox Sports spokesman Dan Bell said Tuesday, April 16, 2013, that Summerall, the NFL player-turned-broadcaster whose deep, resonant voice called games for more than 40 years, has died at the age of 82. (AP Photo/Ron Heflin, File)



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