RIP Pat Summerall. Absolute legend.
Learned yesterday that his real name wasn't Pat, he got that nickname when the box score read "PAT Summerall" after every extra point he kicked.
He was a University of Arkansas defensive end, tight end and kicker between 1949 and 1951. He played professionally for the Detroit Lions, Chicago Cardinals and New York Giants. He was a participant in the 1958 NFL Championship Game between the Giants and Baltimore Colts, “The Greatest Game Ever Played.”
He also became one of the most popular sports broadcasters in the history of television.
For many of us, the sound of Summerall’s voice creates a flood of memories and nostalgia. It can only be said of a few, but when you speak of the former great and his National Football League coverage, you can honestly say that the broadcaster became a vital part of his sport. Summerall was the NFL.
Partnered with Tom Brookshire and then John Madden, Summerall was the A-list play-by-play man for CBS and then FOX during a career that spanned 40 seasons from 1962 through 2002. He called 16 Super Bowls on television — more than any other broadcaster in history — and worked another 10 on radio.
In addition to his football broadcasts, Summerall worked The Masters and US Open tennis tournament for CBS and the Cotton Bowl for FOX.
At Arkansas, he was honored as a hero. A member of the Razorbacks’ All-Century Team, he kicked the game-winning field goal in the Hogs’ 1951 win over Texas. He stood out for Arkansas once more at last December’s SEC Championship game. “I am so honored to represent the University of Arkansas as a recipient of the SEC Legend Award,” he said.
Summerall also once voiced an intro video that was shown before Razorback football games:
“We are all deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Pat Summerall. As one of the most recognizable graduates of the University of Arkansas, Pat was an ambassador for the Razorback program, our university and the entire state throughout his distinguished career.
After an extraordinary collegiate and professional football career, he went on to become one of the country’s legendary sports broadcasters for more than four decades lending his signature voice to some of the most memorable moments in sports history. He was a proud Razorback and he will be greatly missed by his Razorback Family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Cheri and the entire Summerall Family.”
No one — no one — was ever better than Pat Summerall. He will be greatly missed.