The Detroit Lions originally drafted Pat Summerall from Arkansas in 1952. After one year at Detroit, Summerall played five years with the Chicago Cardinals and four years with the New York Giants. While playing both wide receiver and kicker in college, he was almost exclusively a place kicker in the pros. Summerall made 100 of 212 field goal attempts and 257 of 265 extra points. His best year kicking was with the Giants 1959 when he lead the NFL with 20 field goals in 29 attempts.
There were two big moments to his career. The second was the most important.
–With the Cardinals in 1955. At Chicago against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pat Summerall intercepted a pass and returned it 26 yards for the only touchdown of his career.
–In 1958, the Giants at 8-3 were hosting the Cleveland Browns, at 9-2, on the last Sunday. The Giants had defeated the Browns at Cleveland 21 to 17 a few weeks earlier. A Giants’ victory would force a playoff game the next week at Yankee Stadium. Pat Summerall in a blizzard kicked a 50 yard field goal with two minutes remaining to give New York a 13 to 10 victory. This one play eventually put Pat Summerall in the broadcasting booth four years later.
The Giants shut out the Browns 10 to 0 in the playoff and lost to Baltimore in the famous sudden death game 23 to 17.
Throughout his television career, Summerall excelled in both play-by-play and commentary.