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DALLAS (CBSDFW/AP) – Over four decades, Summerall’s deep, resonant voice described some of the biggest games in America.
Simple, spare, he delivered the details on 16 Super Bowls, the Masters and the U.S. Open tennis tournament with a simple, understated style that was the perfect complement for the “booms!” and “bangs!” of Madden, his partner for half of the NFL player-turned-broadcaster’s career.
Summerall died Tuesday at age 82 of cardiac arrest, said University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center spokesman Jeff Carlton, speaking on behalf of Summerall’s wife, Cheri.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones remembered Summerall in a statement released from the Cowboys organization saying:
“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.
For a man who could dramatically capture a moment with very few words, there simply aren’t enough words to adequately describe what he meant to sports and broadcasting in this country.
There is no question that Pat broadcast more Dallas games on CBS and FOX than any other man, and this is a great loss for thousands of Cowboys fans who spent their Sunday afternoons in the living room with Pat.
Our hearts go out to Cheri and his family. Pat was an icon and an American original.”
Summerall’s final play-by-play words beside Madden were succinct, of course, as he called the game-ending field goal of the Super Bowl for Fox on Feb. 3, 2002, when New England beat St. Louis 20-17.
“It’s right down the pipe. Adam Vinatieri. No time on the clock. And the Patriots have won Super Bowl XXXVI. Unbelievable,” Summerall said.
After his final game with Madden, Summerall remained a full-time broadcaster for Fox one more season, doing primarily Dallas Cowboys games during the 2002 season. He decided to step down the following year when he realized he would spend most of the season away from home.
Summerall did a handful of NFL games for Fox and ESPN the next few seasons. He did play-by-play for Fox’s broadcast of the Cotton Bowl’s games from 2007-10, then for the bowl’s 75th anniversary in January 2011 conducted interviews as part of the pregame show and game broadcast.
He also had voiceovers that were part of Masters broadcasts for CBS and game broadcasts on NFL Network.
(© Copyright 2013 CBS Local Media a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report)
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