Former ‘Voice of NFL’ Passes Away


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By CNN Staff

(CNN) — Pat Summerall, the football player turned legendary play-by-play announcer, died Tuesday. He was 82.

He was best known as a broadcaster for teaming with former NFL coach John Madden for 22 years. Summerall also worked for years alongside former player Tom Brookshier and became the voice of the NFL in the 1970s and 1980s, calling most of the league’s signature games.

Summerall called games for CBS, Fox and ESPN and worked more than 10 Super Bowls.

As a player, he was a placekicker and played 10 seasons for the Chicago Cardinals and New York Giants from 1952 to 1961. He scored more than 500 points as an NFL player.

Summerall died Tuesday of cardiac arrest, said Jeff Carlton, a spokesman for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

His powerful and eloquent voice was well-known to thousands of football fans, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said.

“For a man who could dramatically capture a moment with very few words,” Jones said, “there simply aren’t enough words to adequately describe what he meant to sports and broadcasting in this country.”

Jones described Summerall as “royalty in the broadcast booth.”

“He was respected and admired by players, coaches, commissioners and presidents of our country — and always a gentleman — someone who had time for the fans in the parking lot after the game,” he said in a written statement.

Fox Sports described Summerall as “an icon in his profession” and “the voice that defined the NFL on television for generations of fans.”

“He and John Madden helped give FOX Sports and the NFL on FOX credibility when it launched almost 20 years ago, and for that we’ll be forever grateful,” the statement said.

Madden called Summerall a longtime friend.

“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,” Madden said. “Pat Summerall is the voice of football and always will be.”

CNN’s Janet DiGiacomo contributed to this report.

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