Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Two cherished icons say farewell: Pat Summerall & George Beverly Shea

His association with the NFL, to most, is more as a broadcaster than the player he was for 10 seasons. Pat Summerall called games for CBS, then Fox, from 1964 (as a color analyst) to 2002 (as a play-by-play commentator) before settling into semi-retirement. I say semi-retirement, because Fox would bring him back to call the Cotton Bowl every January, though that was not the case this year. On Tuesday, Summerall passed away at 82.

In addition to his NFL work while at CBS, Summerall also called the US Open Tennis Championships and the Masters golf tournament. After 10 seasons as a color analyst, Summerall was promoted to play-by-play in 1974, and worked with only two partners---Tom Brookshier, who was also his co-host on the syndicated This Week in Pro Football, and John Madden, who left CBS with Summerall to go to Fox. Today's generation doesn't realize that Summerall did in fact play the game, too, as a kicker for the Chicago Cardinals & NY Giants in the 50's and early 60's.

Earlier this morning, while listening to the K-Love radio network, I was apprised of the passing of gospel legend George Beverly Shea. For many years associated with evangelist Billy Graham, Shea actually began his career in radio, after placing second in an amateur contest hosted by comic Fred Allen. Shea, who passed away days after his 104th birthday, was one of the cornerstones of Graham's worship team on his crusade tours, along with Cliff Barrows.

From 1969 comes this performance by Shea of the gospel standard, "How Great Thou Art":

Let us not forget, of course, the three innocent lives lost in the bombings at the conclusion of the Boston Marathon on Monday. Some 170 more people were injured, some losing arms and/or legs in the surprise attack. As of this writing, the perpetrator hasn't been found, and it will be some time, it seems, before someone even deigns to cop to the attack, for whatever reason or agenda.

Rest in peace.

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