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Pat Summerall dies, leave TV sportscasting legacy (+video)

Pat Summerall dies: The former football player turned sportscaster, Pat Summerall delivered the details on 16 Super Bowls, the Masters, and the U.S. Open tennis tournament with a simple, understated style.

By Stephen HawkinsAssociated Press / April 17, 2013


Dallas

Pat Summerall was the calm alongside John Madden's storm.

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Over four decades, Summerall described some of the biggest games in America in his deep, resonant voice. 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 football partner for the last half of the NFL player-turned-broadcaster's career.

Summerall died Tuesday at age 82, said University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center spokesman Jeff Carlton, speaking on behalf of Summerall's wife, Cheri.

"Pat was my broadcasting partner for a long time, but more than that he was my friend for all of these years," Madden said in a statement. "Pat Summerall is the voice of football and always will be."

His 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.

Sparse, exciting, perfect. A flawless summation without distracting from the reaction viewers could see on the screen.

At the end of their final broadcast together, Madden described Summerall as "a treasure" and the "spirit of the National Football League" in a tribute to the partner that complemented the boisterous former Oakland Raiders coach so well.

As former teammate and broadcaster Frank Gifford put it in an accompanying video tribute: "America is very comfortable with Pat Summerall."

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