Arguably professional football’s most informative and best-known broadcast duo, Pat Summerall (71) and John Madden (65), are currently in their 21st season together. Summerall, in his 50th year with the NFL, is preparing for his 15th Super Bowl television coverage — his eighth with Madden. One glance at all these numbers and it’s obvious that Pat is who you want calling the big dance.
American Way: What was your most memorable Super Bowl?
Pat Summerall: It will always be the first one [Green Bay and Kansas City, January 15, 1967]. Nobody knew what to expect or thought that it was going to be a game of the magnitude it has become. It was a simulcast — we had two different sets of announcers and one set of cameras. I was in the booth during the first half of the game and then Frank Gifford and I swapped places and I worked the sideline.
AW: What are the main differences you’ve noticed between now and when you began your broadcasting career in 1960?
PS: There is so much more equipment and we’re so much more mobile these days. I can’t remember how many cameras we had at the first Super Bowl, but this year we’re going to have 26.
AW: What are your plans after you finish the broadcast?
PS: My wife and I are going to the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. — that is the week after the game.
— James E. Mayfield