View Full Version : Is the Superbowl the last game for Pat Summerall?

01-23-2002, 12:34 AM
Here's the link (http://www.dallasnews.com/sports_day/football/cowboys/nfl/23summerall.d3880.html)

For Summerall, the word is 'out'
Veteran announcer set to leave Fox, explore other opportunities
By BARRY HORN / The Dallas Morning News

At age 71, Pat Summerall, the "voice of the NFL," has declared his football free agency.

He hopes to talk to CBS and ESPN about his broadcasting future. He says NFL Films is a possibility. He says he already has had conversations with an owner about joining the front office of an NFL team. In the end, he might even re-sign with Fox, his employer for the last eight seasons, to work with an up-and-coming talent such as Troy Aikman or Daryl Johnston.
Only one thing is certain: Super Bowl XXXVI will be the last time Summerall works an NFL game alongside John Madden on Fox. The two have worked together for 21 seasons. Next month's Super Bowl will be Summerall and Madden's eighth together dating to their days at CBS. No broadcast team comes close. It will be Summerall's 16th Super Bowl on network TV. Again, no one is close.

Summerall, who lives in Southlake, said he broke the news that he was going job hunting to his Fox bosses last Wednesday in a "dungeon-like" meeting room of a hotel just outside Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

He broke the news to Madden over breakfast in a St. Louis hotel Friday, two days before they worked the Packers-Rams NFC playoff game.

He broke the news to America on a media conference call Tuesday.

Telling Madden was the hardest, Summerall said in a telephone conversation after the conference call. "John was as shaken as he gets. He said he never thought it would happen. He thought, and I thought for a while, that we would go on forever."

Unwilling to switch

The realization that their pairing as football's premier broadcast team wouldn't go on forever hit Summerall last summer. Ed Goren, president and executive producer of Fox Sports, visited Dallas to discuss the possibility of moving Summerall off the network's No. 1 team while Madden stayed on.
Among the possibilities Goren suggested was shifting Summerall to a lower-level broadcast team, where he would break in rookie analysts.

Summerall, who worked eight seasons on CBS' No. 1 team before teaming with Madden, termed any change a "downgrade."

"If there hadn't been talk about Fox possibly breaking up John and me, I wouldn't be looking to move on," Summerall said.

Earlier, it had seemed paramount to Summerall to point out that he was leaving Fox on his own terms.

"This is totally my move," he said on the conference call of national media. "But I'm not saying that they are not glad that I decided to do it."

Summerall's contract expires after the Super Bowl. Madden, 65, has one year remaining on his Fox deal.

Said Madden, who shares the same agent as Summerall, "My relationship with Pat has been more than just a broadcast partnership, and my respect for him goes beyond football. There are some things in your life that can never be replaced."

Goren, who brought along his boss, David Hill, the Fox Sports chairman, to meet with Summerall last week, was unavailable Tuesday. A Fox spokesman said Goren felt the day should belong entirely to Summerall. Instead, Goren issued a statement.

"Pat Summerall is not only a Hall of Fame broadcaster, but one of the classiest men to ever work in the business," Goren's statement said. "His 50 years as a player and broadcaster is a record that will never be broken. Quite simply, for generations of fans, Pat Summerall was the voice of the NFL."

The front-runner to replace Summerall is 32-year-old Joe Buck, Fox's lead baseball announcer. He is the son of former CBS football broadcaster Jack Buck, who worked Super Bowl IV with Summerall in 1970.

Early hire by Fox

Summerall and Madden were among the first hires fledgling Fox Sports made in 1994 when it outbid CBS for the rights to televise NFC games.
But Fox never used Summerall's marquee name in a promotional campaign for its product, preferring instead to use younger broadcasters like Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long. Summerall never complained publicly but said he was hurt by the omission.

Ironically, Fox called a news conference before the 2000 season to announce that Summerall would be retiring after the 2002 Super Bowl, the culmination of his 50th anniversary of NFL involvement.

There were plans for a highly publicized farewell tour. But Summerall changed his mind.

Summerall had hobbled through the 1999 season on an ailing left knee. He was criticized for a relatively lackluster performance. He has admitted that his work in the booth that season was affected by "too many pain killers."

But he had knee replacement surgery before the 2000 season, felt better and reconsidered. Critics and colleagues noticed the improvement. He had another good season in 2001.

"Age is only a number," he said, "as long as you have enthusiasm and joy for life."

01-23-2002, 12:40 PM
Thank god..... I can't take him anymore, it's time for him to sit down somewhere..

01-24-2002, 02:42 AM
well, not a huge summerall fan..however, it is madden that needs to be gone..he is pathetic now..i used to enjoy his commentary, but he needs to go

01-24-2002, 03:43 AM
Summerall is far superior to John Madden who simply makes annoying noises in time with he action on the feild. "boom"i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif

01-24-2002, 10:01 AM
OH don't get me wrong, Madden is just as bad (probably worse) than Summerall. However with Summerall leaving, I'm sure Madden is probably not far behind.