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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Passing

I should have gotten to this earlier, but it's just been so busy lately...

Pat Summerall died recently.  Someone on FOX Sports Radio said it best-- Summerall was the voice of Sundays.  He was best known for football, but Pat Summerall was also a studio host, a golf anchor, and even a basketball play by play man when CBS had the NBA contract back in the 70's.

There will never be another Pat Summerall, and here's why.  He was a minimalist who let the pictures tell the story.  It no longer works that way.  Today's broadcasters feel like they have to fill every second of every broadcast.

There is one story that illustrates my point.  In an interview several years ago, John Madden said Summerall used to ask him a lot of questions on the air.  Madden said Summerall already knew the answers, but he was just trying to bring out the best in his color man, and make sure viewers understood the game.  That's what being a professional broadcaster is all about.

Pat Summerall was 82.

Al Neuharth, the USA Today founder, also died last week.  He was 89.

I don't think it's an understatement to say Al Neuharth revolutionized newspaper publishing.  Other papers laughed at USA Today's color, short stories, and abundance of pictures and graphics.  They all wound up copying him.