Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

17 Apr 2013

Pat Summerall: A Life Remembered

A short video from NFL Films about the legacy of Pat Summerall, who died yesterday of cardiac arrest. I became aware of the NFL rather late in Summerall's broadcasting career, but it's still hard for me to not compare other announcers to him.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 17 Apr 2013

6 comments, Last at 19 Apr 2013, 7:13pm by PatsFan


by Mike B. In Va :: Thu, 04/18/2013 - 9:40am

I remember watching all those NFC games with him and Madden (we got them a lot, being as the 'Skins didn't suck) in the late '80s/early '90s - they were the best announcing team ever. Summerall had a gift for knowing when to temper things and when to just let Madden run with it, and his timing was impeccable. RIP.

by Dean :: Thu, 04/18/2013 - 11:33am

Pat Summerall had an amazing knack for conveying the excitement of the game without having to substitute volume for competence. So many of the braying jackasses covering sports these days (looking at you Dick Vitale) could stand to learn from him. What Summerall understood was that when you have a game as great as football, you don't need to yell at people.

by LionInAZ :: Fri, 04/19/2013 - 12:06am

Summerall and Gifford both had a knack for keeping the commentary from straying too far from the game when the color guys went on rambles.

by RickD :: Fri, 04/19/2013 - 2:20pm

Yes, we had a good generation of people who knew how to do play-by-play properly. It's a dying art.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Thu, 04/18/2013 - 1:11pm
by PatsFan :: Fri, 04/19/2013 - 7:13pm

I always loved how he called the end of SB36. No need to go crazy or anything. Just something like "It's right down the pipe" and then kept quiet so you could just hear the crowd, etc.