Who can forget that soothing voice that always played it straight before John Madden would launch into another tirade? We lost that voice on Tuesday as Summerall died at the age of 82, leading to an outpouring of tributes from the sports world. Though he is most famous for his NFL work, the New York Yankees took time out of their game to honor Summerall (after all, he did play football in New York):
Behind the mic, Summerall provided us with more memories that we can probably recall. His years in the broadcast booth, including after his arrival at FOX in 1994, were nothing short of great. Let’s look back:
Here are Summerall and Madden doing the introduction for Super Bowl XXXI:
Do you remember when Summerall and Madden spotted Burt Reynolds and Ann-Margret sitting together in the stands back in 1996? The fun starts at the :40 mark.
Here is Summerall talking about learning from Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi:
Before Summerall was paired with Madden, his frequent broadcaster was Tom Brookshier. They broadcasted games together and even hosted this show below. Check it out.
Speaking of awkward, how about the first time Summerall and Madden announced a game together?
By the way, let’s not forget that Summerall lent his voice to the Madden video game series over the years. Enjoy this clip of arguably his most well-known call:
The outpouring of grief from the football community following Summerall’s death was almost instantaneous.
Pat Summerall & John Madden helped give @ foxsports and the @ nflonfox credibility when it launched, and for that we’ll be forever grateful.
Jerry Jones released a statement regarding Summerall’s death.
"Pat was the NFL’s narrator for generations, with a voice that was powerful, eloquent and distinctive.
"His presence at an NFL game elevated that event to a higher level. He was 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.
"Humility and kindness were his closest companions. He was a trusted friend and confidant, and for all of his immense talents as a professional, he was an even better person."Read more here.
FOX Sports Southwest’s Keith Whitmire wrote a piece on Summerall and his contributions to the Cotton Bowl in recent years. Read that here.