Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Summerall honored at memorial service

PLANO, Texas — Pat Summerall was remembered Saturday during a memorial service as "the voice of the NFL" who maintained a humble approach despite the praise his broadcast work received for decades.

Thousands gathered at a Baptist church north of Dallas to pay tribute to a broadcaster who called some of the most memorable games in NFL history, U.S. Open tennis, the Masters and other sporting events.

The former NFL kicker died Tuesday at 82 of cardiac arrest in Dallas, where he spent his final years. He was a native of Lake City and is a member of the Florida Sports Hall of Fame.

The service included a church choir of about 300 and was attended by Cowboys Hall of Famers Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith and Roger Staubach as well as current Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and coach Jason Garrett.

Former NFL analyst John Madden said his broadcast partner's steady presence made Summerall the voice of the league. Madden, once a fiery coach, was seen by many as the storm alongside Summerall's calm. They teamed for 22 years for CBS and Fox.

"I got up this morning, and I thought, 'Pat, I need you,' " Madden said. "I couldn't get the tie straightened, a button buttoned. It was the same old thing."

Madden also described his first year with Summerall, 1981, as riddled with confusion as the ex-coach struggled with the craft and fumbled with equipment. But Summerall "didn't look down on me," he said.

"He didn't tell you he'd pull you through, he just damn did it," Madden said.

After talking at length, including about how Summerall overcame alcoholism with faith, Madden looked upward.

"I know Pat's up there saying, 'Brevity, brevity, brevity,' " Madden said.

"But just one more time, I'm going to talk over you."

Summerall honored at memorial service 04/20/13 [Last modified: Saturday, April 20, 2013 9:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jameis Winston's subtle but strong moment of leadership displayed on 'Hard Knocks'


    Quarterback Jameis Winston went to each teammate in the locker room prior to the Bucs' preseason opener Friday at Cincinnati with one message: 'I got your back.'

    Then he proved it.

    Jameis Winston sarcastically tells offensive linemen James Stone and James Harrison he's glad glad they're having fun while quarterback Ryan Griffin is being attended to in the locker room by the Bucs medical staff. [HBO/NFL FILMS]
  2. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Highlights — and fights — from Jacksonville


    Greg Auman is back home after two days of joint practices between the Bucs and Jaguars in Jacksonville. He recaps those practices — and fights — and talks about highlights from Tuesday's episode …

    Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Kenneth Walker, right, cannot snag a pass against Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith during a joint NFL football practice Monday in Jacksonville. [Will Dickey/Florida Times-Union]
  3. Who's No. 2: Florida State Seminoles or Ohio State Buckeyes?


    The toughest decision in my first stint as a voter for the AP Top 25 came at the top.

  4. Rays morning after: The real reasons behind Tuesday's win over Blue Jays


    Scoring six runs was the big news for the offensively challenged Rays in Tuesday's victory over the Blue Jays.

    Corey Dickerson (10) celebrates Tuesday's victory with Steven Souza Jr. (20) and Peter Bourjos (18).
  5. Jones: Roberto Aguayo getting the boot was star of Tuesday's 'Hard Knocks'


    TAMPA — Roberto gets cut.

    That was the big story line heading into the second episode of HBO's Hard Knocks, the behind-the-scenes look at Bucs training camp. In fact, it was one of the most anticipated story lines Hard Knocks has had in years.

    Roberto Aguayo watches one of his final kicks Friday for the Bucs.