Pat Summerall and John Madden were my favorite announcing team for National Football League TV broadcasts.
Summerall, at play by play, had a gift of describing the action without being too wordy: “Young to Jerry Rice. Touchdown.”
Madden was wordy but they were words of enthusiasm and wisdom. He had a love of football that showed and his knowledge of football was vast. I would often pick up some new tidbit of football knowledge with each telecast.
Summerall died in 2013. Madden passed away this past week.
Not only was Madden a great football commentator, winning 16 sports Emmy awards, but he also won a Super Bowl championship as a head coach with the Oakland Raiders.
His personality carried over into the John Madden Football video game series, probably the best sports video game ever made.
For a while you couldn’t miss Madden on TV as he also made a bunch of commercials.
His fear of flying was well-known and he would ride in his own custom bus to the next broadcast.
There are some other good NFL announcing crews these days including Joe Buck with Troy Aikman on Fox, Al Michaels with Cris Collinsworth on NBC and Jim Nantz with Tony Romo on CBS. But Summerall and Madden were the best.
David Claybourn is sports editor of the Herald-Banner.