When asked about his fondest NFL memories during a May 2009 interview, Mr. Summerall said there were things that stood out as a player and broadcaster.
‘‘You always remember the days as a player,’’ he said. ‘‘I was in four championship games before there was a Super Bowl, so I remember those very well. Broadcasting, I remember the last [Super Bowl] I did. Of course, I remember that. I remember the first one most vividly than any of the rest.’’
Mr. Summerall was part of the CBS broadcast of the inaugural Super Bowl in Los Angeles on Jan. 15, 1967. After working the first half in the broadcast booth, he switched places with Gifford at halftime and was a sideline reporter during the second half.
‘‘To look at the Coliseum that day and see that there were like 40,000 empty seats and the most expensive ticket was $12, it’s incredible to realize what was going on and what it’s grown to over the years,’’ he said during the 2009 interview. ‘‘It’s sort of staggering to me.’’
Mr. Summerall, who spent his final years in the Dallas area, living in Southlake, was a member of the North Texas Super Bowl host committee for the game played there in February 2011 in the $1.1 billion Cowboys Stadium that opened in 2009.
‘‘It’s a little bit different in that it’s in my neighborhood, it’s in my home,’’ Mr. Summerall said in advance of that Super Bowl in which Green Bay defeated Pittsburgh. ‘‘It’s quite an honor just to be part of it.’’
Mr. Summerall became a play-by-play announcer in 1974, and it was strictly by accident. He was working with Jack Buck, and CBS boss Bob Wussler thought the two sounded too much alike. Mr. Summerall told Wussler that if a change was going to be made he would like to do play-by-play, and the following Sunday that is what he was doing.
After his final game with Madden, Mr. Summerall remained a full-time broadcaster for Fox one more season, doing primarily Dallas Cowboys games during the 2002 season. He decided to step down the following year when he realized that he would spend most of the season away from home.
Mr. Summerall did a handful of NFL games for Fox and ESPN the next few seasons. He did play-by-play for the Fox broadcast of the Cotton Bowl games from 2007-10, then for the bowl’s 75th anniversary in January 2011 conducted interviews as part of the pregame show and game broadcast.