SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – John Madden knew his longtime friend and broadcast partner Pat Summerall was not in the best of health, but was nevertheless shocked by his death.
“Pat was John Wayne,” Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew. “You knew that things were going to come and go through his life and whatever they are he’s going to handle them and he’s going to beat them. And when you hear something like that it just puts you in shock.”
Madden the analyst and Summerall the play-by-play man spent 22 years together broadcasting NFL games.
“He was perfect at it. He had the perfect words for it at the right time,” Madden said. “(It) would give you great confidence. No matter what I did or how I rambled or where I went, Pat at the end would always make sense of it.”
Madden called Summerall “the voice of football.”
“When Pat Summerall came into your living room, he was very, very comfortable. You kind of had your old chair you sit in, and Pat Summerall fit with that — your living room, your old chair, your favorite chair to watch the game, and Pat Summerall. It all worked together.”
Summerall was always upbeat, John said.
“I was with him for 22 years, and not one time did we ever have an argument. And it was because of Pat… He’s everything that you would want in friend and everything that you would want in a man.” (8:10)