As A Chicago Cardinal, Summerall Had Kicking Down PAT
Many of us are too young to have witnessed it, but Pat Summerall, the legendary NFL broadcaster, had a ten year playing career in the NFL before becoming a fixture in the broadcast booth for the CBS and Fox television networks. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1952 and had his greatest moments on the field as a New York Giant. But he had his lengthiest tenure as a player with the Chicago Cardinals.
Though often overshadowed by the Bears in Chicago, the Cardinals were considered the city’s South Side team. Comiskey Park was home field for most of their four decades as a Chicago-based NFL team. The Cardinals moved to St. Louis following the 1959 season.
Summerall played five seasons with Cardinals, from 1953-1957, including the team’s last winning season, when the Cards went 7-5 in 1956. He was listed as an end, but he was primarily a kicker. In an era when extra points were not nearly as automatic for kickers as they are today, Summerall made 257 of his 265 PAT attempts, including a perfect 30 for 30 in that 1956 season.
Summerall’s greatest moments on the field would come later, during his four years with the New York Giants. He’s best remembered there for a 49-yard field goal, kicked on a snowy day in 1958, that gave the Giants a 13-10 win over the Cleveland Browns and a post-season berth. That season culminated with the historic Giants loss to Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts in the game often billed the “Greatest Game Ever Played.”