DALLAS, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Pat Summerall has decided that after an unprecedented half century in the NFL as a player and broadcaster, he is ready to move on to other endeavors in business and sports.
Super Bowl XXXVI on Feb. 3 will be his final broadcast with long-time partner John Madden,
ending football's longest running and most proficient broadcast team ever.
"I'm used to looking at career statistics and milestones, but I wasn't really thinking about how to make the most of my own time," Summerall said Tuesday on a conference call with reporters.
"I want to take some time to think about what to
do next and take advantage of other opportunities that also mean I can spend more time with my family and less time on the road."
Summerall made it clear he is not retiring. He is, however, retiring from working with Madden as the lead play-by-play broadcaster for FOX's NFL coverage following the Super Bowl.
He may explore other broadcasting opportunities in the future.
"The idea of working on a book project, traveling less, focusing more on my company [Pat Summerall Productions] and spending time with family and friends sounds good to me right now," Summerall adds. "I'll certainly miss all my colleagues
and associates, but I don't want to feel like I missed out on other opportunities that life offers."
Madden, who first partnered with Summerall in 1981 said, "My relationship with Pat has been more than just a broadcast partnership and my respect for him goes beyond football.There are some things in your life that can never be replaced."
Summerall's agent, Sandy Montag of IMG, said that there have been many offers for Summerall over the years, but contractual obligations, travel, scheduling and other commitments have made it impossible to pursue them.
"I know Pat wants to take some time after the Super Bowl and relax, but there are also a lot of projects for him to consider outside of football," he said.
Summerall has been part of the NFL for a record 50 years, as a player, coach and broadcaster. He joined CBS in 1960 as a broadcaster. He and Madden teamed 21 years ago, forming the premiere sports broadcasting team of all time and all sports.
The 2002 Super Bowl will be their eighth together. Their broadcast of Super Bowl XVI in 1982 remains the highest-rated sports program of all time. He also worked on 10 Super Bowl
radio broadcasts, and has only missed one game since the event made its debut in 1967.
He has also been the voice of television golf and tennis, appeared in a number of films, and heads Dallas-based Pat Summerall Productions, a company that specializes in business videos which can be used as sales tools for smaller companies. He and his wife, Cheri, live in Southlake, Texas.
Awards and Summerall have been synonymous over the years, from his days as a football player to one of the most highly-respected broadcasters in history. Summerall will receive the prestigious George Halas Award before Super Bowl XXXVI, which
is the highest honor given by the NFL Alumni. The recognition he has received includes the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences bestowing a Lifetime Achievement Award for Sports in 1994; also in 1994, he received the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award.
In 1997, he was inducted into the prestigious NFL Alumni's Order of the Leather Helmet in recognition of his contributions to the
sport of football.
His earlier honors ranged from Sportscaster of the Year from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association in 1977, to the Golden Mike Award from the Touchdown Club of America (1977) and Association of Tennis Professionals' JAKS Award as Tennis Broadcaster of the Year in 1983.
For a time, he was sports director of WCBS Radio in New York while he broadcast sports on television. He began his professional football career as a kicker and tight end with the Chicago Cardinals and the New York Giants, scoring 567 career points on 101 field goals, 258 extra
points and one touchdown.
"I'm looking forward to broadcasting next week's Super Bowl with John, and have such mixed feelings about it being our last game together.It has been a terrific half-century in football and 21 years with John. I know it's the right time to move on."