One of the greatest broadcasters to ever speak into a microphone died Tuesday due to a cardiac arrest.
It’s almost impossible to describe how great and eloquent Summerall was. He is most remembered for being the steady voice alongside the constant intensity and emotion of John Madden. However, his life embodied sport for many years before his broadcasting career as a kicker for the Detroit Lions, Chicago Cardinals, and New York Giants from 1952-1961.
The following year, Summerall joined CBS Sports as a color commentator for football, but he was simply starting a long career as one of the most outstanding broadcasters of all time. Ten years after joining the network he was moved to play-by-play, but he wasn’t limited to football. Summerall announced the Masters 1968-1994 while also covering U.S. Open tennis matches.
The most memorable stint of Summerall’s career started in 1981 as he was paired with the legendary John Madden. Their partnership lasted for 22 years and covered five Super Bowls together. Teaming up with Madden also led to Summerall making a strong connection with younger generations as the two called games for the first few editions of Madden NFL the video game.
I can still remember Summerall’s soothing voice chiming in on Madden 64 after a long semi-intelligible rant from Madden. That was one of the greatest parts of his talent. No matter what type of madness came from his color commentator, Summerall was always able to smooth everything out and transition back into calling the game.
Summerall will be greatly missed by multiple generations as a truly legendary commentator with one of the smoothest voices to ever be heard.