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Pat Summerall, Broadcaster & Former Giant, Dies At Age 82

Former football Giant and broadcaster Pat Summerall has died at the age of 82

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

“He was an extraordinary man and a wonderful father,” said Susie Wiles, his daughter. “I know he will be greatly missed.”

Summerall was a CBS football broadcaster for 31 years including the first Super Bowl broadcast in 1967 and moved to Fox Sports in 1994  before retiring in 2002. He worked a record 16 Super Bowl broadcasts in his career. His final football game was during the 2011 Cotton Bowl which is played in his hometown of Dallas.

His on air chemistry with John Madden is unmatched and were the lead broadcast team for CBS and Fox.

He also played 10 seasons in the NFL, primarily as a field goal kicker,  for Detroit, the Chicago Cardinals and the New York Giants from 1958-61. His career moment was dubbed the “greatest game of all” in which he kicked a 49-yard field goal to beat the Baltimore Colts in overtime and advance to the playoffs.

A recovering alcoholic, Summerall had a liver transplant in April 2004. The lifesaving surgery was necessary even after 12 years of sobriety.

After an intervention involving, among others, former NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle, former CBS Sports President Peter Lund and former PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beaman, Summerall checked into the Betty Ford Clinic in April 1992.

“I had no intention of quitting, I was having too good a time,” Summerall said in a 2000 Associated Press story. “The prescribed stay at Betty Ford is 28 days. They kept me 33 because I was so angry at the people who did the intervention, the first five days didn’t do me any good.”

Summerall received the liver of a 13-year-old junior high football player from Arkansas who died unexpectedly from an aneurysm. Summerall had an emotional meeting with the teenager’s family the following year.

Summerall often shared his testimony with Christian groups and told his story when speaking before other organizations. In his 2006 book, “Summerall: On and Off The Air,” he frankly discussed his personal struggles and professional successes.


The Associated Press contributed to this report

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