Classy. Graceful. Efficient.
Pat Summerall visited WFUV on May 1, 2011 and spent some time visiting with the sports staff. The next day he accepted the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Broadcasting at WFUV's Fourth Annual Gala. Joe Tordy had the opportunity to get to know Pat in the months before the award ceremony and his special feature gives us an insight into this special man whose economy of words lets us know why the game is more important than the broadcaster.
I could fill this page with words about Pat Summerall, but that would fly in the face of his memory.
With an economy of words unrivaled before or since, Pat provided the example of how to make broadcasts about the game, not the broadcaster. In doing this to perfection, though, Summerall became the star.
Not knowing much more than my name, Pat shared some special moments of his life with me. While he was quick with a joke, he was pensive when he took me through the halls of Lake City high school, into the broadcast booth alongside Tom Brookshier and John Madden, and onto the field at Yankee Stadium as he was about to kick the game-winning field goal for the Giants against the Browns.
I valued my short time with Pat very much, and I was honored to craft his Vin Scully Award accompaniment piece. The positive impression that he made on me was only reinforced by the high praise that those who knew him offered.
Pat Summerall influenced me both professionally and personally, just as he impacted countless others over the course of his life. On Tuesday, April 16, 2013, the broadcasting world lost a true Giant.