This guy has come out of retirement more times than Brett Favre.
After calling Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002 at the age of 71, Summerall announced his retirement, and the ears of sports fans from coast to coast rejoiced. But lo, Summerall came out of retirement for the 2002 season, and it sucked, but he retired again at the end of the season.
And so the Sea of Crappy Broadcasters was thus tamed, its waves less ferocious than ever before. But in 2006 he did rise again, returning to FOX to announce NFL games. And then he signed on to do the Cotton Bowl in 2007, which he has continued to do through this year's game, which was played on Saturday.
Summerall's a broadcasting legend, and he certainly he has the right to earn money calling football games for as long as someone's willing to pay him to do so. But as a fan, I can think of several reasons he should call it quits:
- Forget that he's now 79 years old, I've never enjoyed listening to him. I can't judge the early part of his career (he began in 1964), but ever since the 90s, he's been about as excitable as, say, a 79-year-old. A typical call of a last-second, game-winning touchdown goes something like this: "Back to pass. ... Touchdown." 96 percent of his calls make it truly difficult to tell if he is, in fact, living.
- As stated above, HE'S 79 YEARS OLD! Whereas, say, Harry Caray was a fun-loving drunk who did everything he could to entertain the fans when he broadcast his last game at the age of 83, Summerall is more of a typical 79-year-old: tired, disinterested and disengaged. And he speaks veeeery, veeeery, slooooooowwwwwwly. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that in order to best prepare himself for the Cotton Bowl, he placed a bowl of cotton in his mouth.
- As he's gotten older, he's added "mistake-prone" to his list of announcing attributes. In the few minutes of the Cotton Bowl that I watched, he said "that might be enough for a first down" on a play where the running back had it by about two yards, and said "Yes sir" after a field goal had clearly sailed wide left and the refs had waved their arms to indicate a miss.