Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Pat Summerall, former Giants kicker and sports broadcasting icon, dies at 82

Pat Summerall, former Giants kicker and sports broadcasting icon, dies at 82, Pat Summerall, known for his exemplary work as a place-kicker for Giants and as one half of the N.F.L broadcast John Madden - Pat Summerall team, died Tuesday in Dallas at the age of 82, according to the New York Times on April 16.

Valerie Bell speaking on behalf of the family stated that Summerall broke his hip in a fall on Thursday while in his home in Southlake, Tex., part of the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. He had been at Zale Lipshy University Hospital since the fall where he was participating in rehabilitation programs. He suffered an unexpected cardiac arrest on Tuesday.

He was a respected football player, credited with a 49-yard field goal that helped the Giants go to the playoffs in 1958. The team went on to National Football League championship game, the first of three they would participate in during Summerall’s stay with them.

Trading the gridiron for the booth, Summerall turned to sports broadcasting, excelling at giving riveting play-by-play reports.

Between Fox and CBS, Summerall racked up 40 years of broadcasting. In addition to football, he was also a commentator for the Masters golf tournament and the U.S. Open tennis tournament.

His addiction to alcohol caused problems personally, professionally and ultimately cost him his health. A 1992 intervention by friends, family and associates convinced Pat to enter rehab at the Betty Ford Substance Abuse Clinic. Completing his program, he remained sober, became a born-again Christian and spoke frequently of his faith.

However, his liver had already suffered irreparable damage from the years of abuse. In 2004 he received the liver of a 13-year-old boy who had died from a brain aneurism.

Overcoming a difficult childhood, Pat Summerall went on to win awards and to be recognized as one of the greats of the sporting world, both on and off the field. He will be missed.

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