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John Madden: Pat Summerall was 'card-carrying good guy'

April 16, 2013|By Sam Farmer
  • Pat Summerall, left, and John Madden in the broadcast booth together for the last time at Super Bowl XXXVI.
Pat Summerall, left, and John Madden in the broadcast booth together for… (Frank Micelotta / Getty…)

Pat Summerall was “one of the card-carrying good guys,” and his death is “a damn shock,” said John Madden, his longtime partner in the broadcast booth.

Summerall, 82, died Tuesday, Fox Sports spokesman Dan Bell confirmed. The Dallas Morning News reported that Summerall died in his room at Dallas' Zale Lipshy Hospital, where he was recovering from surgery for a broken hip.

“He was so solid and a good friend and a real pro,” Madden told The Times in a telephone interview. “He was always up, always had a joke. Was low-maintenance for everyone.”

Madden said Summerall had an uncanny ability to work a game as either a play-by-play man or analyst without the use of notes. Summerall worked a record 16 Super Bowls in a broadcast career that stretched from 1962 to 2002.

“You know in TV some of these guys have all the numbers and stats and notes?” said Madden, who worked alongside him for 21 seasons. “Pat would come to a broadcast with nothing. It was all in his head. He didn’t have anything. Could you see another play-by-play guy today doing that?

“He had that thing of, in one sentence he could say what would take others two or three paragraphs to say. He’d hit it right on the head. That was why he was so great to work with.”

Madden said that when he and Summerall were working together, they would typically spend three to four days together on the road, and they always got along.

“In all the time I worked with him, we never had one argument,” he said. “That was because of him. I’m not the easiest person to get along with, but he was.”

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