Talking Points: Summerall was voice of the NFL




For four decades, Pat Summerall was the voice of the NFL.

Sure, Howard Cosell and company were iconic for their flashy Monday Night Football style. But for those who developed a passion for the NFL in the 70s, 80s and 90s, no voice was more connected to the NFL than Summerall’s.

Summerall, who died Tuesday at the age of 82, was the narrator as the NFL grew into our most popular sports league. Summerall’s name did not sell video games — like that of his longtime broadcast partner John Madden. He will not be remembered for any clever catch phrase, or for using the volume of his voice to convey significance.

Summerall’s was the voice of Sunday afternoons. His deep, steady delivery resonated grace, and dignity, and an understated passion that made the viewing experience extra special.


As expected, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber on Tuesday suspended San Jose forward Alan Gordon for three games.

Gordon was caught shouting an anti-gay slur at Portland’s Will Johnson during Sunday’s match at Jeld-Wen Field. And by caught, we mean caught by the NBC Sports Network cameras.

Also caught on camera was Johnson’s response.

The Timbers’ captain raised three fingers to indicate the number of games Gordon will miss under the MLS disciplinary code.

Sure, there is unfriendly banter throughout a match, plenty of it colorful. That doesn’t excuse those caught behaving badly. As Quakes star forward Chris Wondolowski told the Mercury News: “It is a punishment that is needed because there is no tolerance for (slurs). There is no excuse.”