TCU Daily Skiff Masthead
Thursday, September 25, 2003
news campus opinion sports features

Finding his faith
By Danny Gillham
Staff Reporter

Sports broadcasting legend Pat Summerall said he was last on the TCU campus as a football player for the University of Arkansas, when his team was defeated.

He said his visit to campus Wednesday night will leave him with better memories.

Summerall, 73, discussed his years as a sports broadcaster, his battle with alcohol and finding faith with about 40 people in Sid W. Richardson Building, Lecture Hall 2. The event was sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ.

Summerall said alcohol began to play a bigger role in his life as his career grew, he said.

“I thought it gave me a feeling that I enjoyed,” Summerall said. “I thought I laughed more and I thought I had a better time after I had a couple.”

Summerall talked about his relationships with baseball legend Mickey Mantle and longtime broadcasting partner John Madden, saying he became “very good at ducking.”

Lance Linnartz, a staff member for the organization, said Summerall’s speech will be the first in a monthly series. He said the event came together through his colleague Randy Kennedy and Dallas Cowboys’ Chaplain John Webber.

“Randy and I worked together, and I just mentioned that I had an idea of doing a monthly speaker series at TCU,” Linnartz said. “So he said ‘Hey I just had breakfast with Pat Summerall recently, and he has quite a story to tell.’”

Summerall lives minutes from Fort Worth said he was happy for the opportunity to share the story of his faith.

“People seemed to enjoy the speech,” he said. “I was trying to get the message across of the peace that I have in my heart. It’s without comparison the best thing that has happened to me.”

Taylor Melton, a sophomore entrepreneurial management major, said he enjoyed the event.

“I really didn’t know what it was going to be about,” Melton said. “I thought it was mostly going to be about sports. It was a delight to here about his experiences though, and how he came to know Christ.”

Summerall’s broadcasting credentials include numerous Super Bowls, the Masters and U.S. Open Tennis Championships. He played professional football from 1952 to 1961 and had a brief stint in minor league baseball. He said his greatest sporting achievement was calling the 1984 U.S. Open, where he went 12 hours on-air without using the bathroom.

Pat Summerall

Stephen Spillman/Photo Editor

Long time sports broadcaster Pat Summerall recalls his experiences with John Madden and his life in broadcast journalism Wednesday night in the Sid W. Richardson building.

TCU Daily Skiff © 2003

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