"Voice Of The NFL" Pat Summerall Remembered For Humility, Generosity
Late NFLer and announcer PAT SUMMERALL was remembered on Saturday as a “great and humble man” before “roughly 1,684 mourners" gathered at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, according to Clarence Hill of the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM. It was “no surprise that the Cowboys had a huge presence at the memorial service.” Cowboys Owner JERRY JONES said, “Pat was cherished by the Cowboys. We know what he meant to the NFL. But he meant a lot to the Cowboys. He was a great Cowboys supporter.” Summerall’s former broadcast partner JOHN MADDEN said, “I got up this morning and I thought, ‘Pat, I need you,’ I couldn’t get the tie straightened, a button buttoned. It was the same old thing.” Former execs and colleagues with CBS and Fox also were “in attendance," as were NFL Senior VP/PR GREG AIELLO, former Cowboys VP/Player Personnel GIL BRANDT, former Univ. of Arkansas AD FRANK BROYLES and former Vikings Owner RED MCCOMBS. CBS Sports Coordinating Producer LANCE BARROW said of Summerall, “He made you feel like the most important man in the room” (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 4/21). CBSSPORTS.com’s Matt Rybaltowski noted Madden, “in an emotional speech,” described Summerall as "the voice of the NFL for more than two decades.” Madden: “To me he wasn't a braggart. To me, he was JOHN WAYNE.” He added, “This is the third goodbye -- the toughest. Goodbye, Pat. Rest in peace. I love you” (CBSSPORTS.com, 4/20). Madden: “There were voices before Pat Summerall, and there will be voices after. But he is the voice of the NFL.” In Dallas, David Moore wrote of Summerall, “A broadcaster known for an economy of words was celebrated for his generosity of spirit" (DALLASNEWS.com, 4/20).
GREATNESS IN FRONT OF, BEHIND CAMERAS: ESPN’s John Saunders said of Summerall's legacy, “For over 40 years, his voice meant it was a big event.” Saunders added, “This week we heard a lot about what he did in front of a microphone, but his greatness involves so much more behind the scenes” (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN, 4/21).