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Pat Summerall Dies at 82

Pat Summerall and John Madden called NFL games for nearly 30 years. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect.)

For years, he was the voice of the NFL on CBS and then Fox.  Pat Summerall died today at the age of 82.  Summerall passed away at a Dallas hospital of an apparent cardiac arrest.  He was recovering from a hip surgery.

For over 40 years, Summerall graced the airwaves with his distinctive voice and low key approach to broadcasting.  He let the pictures tell the story, but always tied things together with appropriate commentary.  He was the perfect yin to John Madden’s yang.

El Pasoans will remember him for covering many Sun Bowl’s in the 70s and early 80s.  My grandfather, Andy Cohen, would jokingly pray for him to return from Juarez safely when delivering the invocation at the annual Sun Bowl luncheon.

Summerall was a tremendous high school athlete in Florida and played college football at the University of Arkansas.  He played in the NFL for nearly a decade, and joined the CBS Sports team in 1962.

Summerall’s long time partner, John Madden, had this to say:

“Pat was my broadcasting partner for a long time, but more than that he was my friend for all of these years. We never had one argument, and that was because of Pat. He was a great broadcaster and a great man. He always had a joke. Pat never complained and we never had an unhappy moment. He was something very special. Pat Summerall is the voice of football and always will be.”


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