The man that was the voice of the NFL for a generation, Pat Summerall, has died at the age of 82. He started with the NFL in 1962 and retired in 2002. For 21 of those seasons he was teamed with former Oakland Raiders‘ coach John Madden, and they became the top broadcasting team in the league.
Born George Allen Summerall in Lake City, Florida in 1930 he played in the NFL as a placekicker for a decade. Then he moved up to the booth for CBS in 1962, where he stayed until the middle of 1994. He took his talents to Fox which was considered a major coup by the network. He stayed there for nine seasons before retiring. He occasionally came back to fill in for other announcers.
He covered golf and tennis as well as the NFL. He was the lead broadcaster for several Masters tournaments for CBS. Summerall even briefly covered the NBA in the 70s. He was an announcer for 16 Super Bowls. He was inducted into the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame in 1999.
Summerall’s health had been failing in the last decade of his life. His health issues included a liver transplant due to a longtime battle with alcoholism in 2004 and a hip replacement. He died in a hospital recovering from surgery on a broken hip.
For people my age, Summerall and Madden will always be the voices we associate with the NFL. If there was a big game, it seemed that duo was calling it. Rest in peace Mr. Summerall, you will be missed.