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Tuesday, January 22
 
Fox splitting Summerall, Madden after Super Bowl

ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Pat Summerall and John Madden are parting ways after 21 years in which they became the standard by which NFL announcing teams are judged.

Summerall announced Tuesday that he will leave his longtime NFL broadcasting partner after they call the Super Bowl for Fox Sports.

But the 71-year-old former New York Giants star kicker, who's been associated with the NFL for 50 years as a player or announcer, said he won't rule out doing more TV work.

Asked if he's set on retiring, Summerall said: "Absolutely not. I still want to do games. I still want to work with the NFL. I'd love to get back involved in golf in some way. I'd love to do tennis again."

While Summerall called those sports when he was at CBS, he is best known as half of the longest-paired NFL TV duo ever.

Summerall's play-by-play and Madden's color analysis have complemented each other since they were paired at CBS in 1981. They moved together to Fox in 1994 after that network bought NFL rights.

Their Feb. 3 swan song will be Summerall's 17th Super Bowl broadcast.

"I'll miss standing next to John during the course of a broadcast and watching his antics and enjoying his commentary and trying to react to his commentary," Summerall said.

"That I can never replace."

Joe Buck, who is Fox's lead play-by-play announcer for baseball and has called NFL games for the network, could be a replacement as Madden's partner.

"No decisions have been made about who will work with John next year," Fox spokesman Lou D'Ermilio said.

Summerall, whose Fox contract expires at the end of this season, said he decided two weeks ago to move on. He wanted to make the announcement now so as not to be a distraction during the buildup to the NFL's championship game.

He said he might be interested in staying at Fox in a different spot.

"Fox has said they would like to talk to us after the Super Bowl about other possibilities of him staying on," said his agent, Sandy Montag. "Sometime in February or March, we said, we'll talk about it."

Summerall's TV career started in 1960.

"Pat Summerall is not only a Hall of Fame broadcaster, but one of the classiest men to ever work in the business," Fox Sports president Ed Goren said. "His 50 years as a player and broadcaster is a record that will never be broken. Quite simply, for generations of fans, Pat Summerall was the voice of the NFL."

Madden said in a statement: "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."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.




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