One of the best — perhaps the best — broadcaster in the game of football, Pat Summerall, passed away today at the age of 82.
Though Summerall is best known for his work as a play-by-play announcer for CBS and Fox in a broadcast career that spanned 40 years and included 16 Super Bowls, he got his football start at the University of Arkansas. From 1949-51, Summerall played defensive end, tight end and placekicker for the Razorbacks before being drafted into the pros. UA athletic director Jeff Long released the following statement today on the school’s behalf:
“We are all deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Pat Summerall,” Long said. “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.”
Some of my earliest memories of football included listening to him and John Madden call a game, and there is no doubt in my mind Summerall had the best voice for his craft. The irony of it all was that, given his vocal talent, Summerall was a minimalist.
He was a fantastic broadcaster, and he will be missed.
(Photo credit: Arkansas athletics)