Summerall's smooth, calm voice described some of the greatest moments in sports, including 26 Super Bowls (TV and radio combined) and The Masters, as well as tennis' US Open. He delivered descriptions of the games he covered with an honest, knowledgeable, and pleasurable style.
He could not have found a better way to conclude the legendary career of the renowned Summerall/Madden duo, as he called Adam Vinatieri's field goal that won the Patriots their first Super Bowl of the Tom Brady era. "It's right down the pipe," Summerall said, cool and collected. "Adam Vinatieri. No time on the clock. And the Patriots have won Super Bowl XXXVI. Unbelievable." Here's the video with Summerall's play-by-play:
Hall of Fame coach John Madden spoke glowingly of his former colleague, saying, "Pat was my broadcasting partner for a long time, but more than that he was my friend for all these years. We never had one argument, and that was because of Pat. He was a great broadcaster and a great man. He always had a joke. Pat never complained and we never had an unhappy moment. He was something very special."
While we remember him as a broadcaster, his talents on the football field are said to be underrated. He was primarily a kicker for the Chicago Cardinals and New York Giants, leading the league in field goal percentage in 1959 - but he had more talents than just kicking. He also played some defensive back, recovering seven fumbles in his career and returning an interception for a touchdown in 1955. Hall of Famer Frank Gifford said that the reason Summerall didn't play more on defense for the Giants was because they didn't want to risk having their kicker get hurt.
Shortly after Summerall's retirement from playing, he got right into the broadcast business. He was on the broadcast team that covered the inaugural Super Bowl as a sideline reporter, and presented the trophy to the world champion Green Bay Packers - before it was named the Lombardi Trophy. That was the beginning of an illustrious career that spanned across several decades.