Too many football fans at a certain age. . .an age group that I think I’m part of. . .there is no better play-by-play combination in football history than the team with Pat Summerall and John Madden. And while I would like to think I know a lot about the Minnesota Vikings and their history, Joe Buck dropped a bit of knowledge during the day’s first game of the afternoon that I had no idea about involving our favorite football team, Pat Summerall, and John Madden.
Because I was not aware of it until today, I thought I would pass it on to everyone else as well.
Today, November 25, is the anniversary of Madden and Summerall sharing a stand together for the first time, and it happened in a game involving the Minnesota Vikings. The game took place in Tampa Bay on November 25, 1979 between the Vikings and Buccaneers, and Madden ended up in the booth with Summerall for the game because Summerall’s regular partner, Tom Brookshier, had a family obligation that was in conflict with the Vikings / Buccaneers game. .
In that match, the Vikings came to win over the Buccaneers with a score of 23-22 due to the Vikings blocking not one but two extra points. While the play-by-play on the following video is a bit weak, it’s definitely Madden and Summerall who are calling a touchdown run by Buccaneers’ quarterback Doug Williams to make the score 23-22 and the ensuing blocked extra points that kept The Minnesota victory.
(Yes, you’ll have to watch it on YouTube because the NFL.)
The Buccaneers would actually advance to the NFC Championship Game that year before losing to the Los Angeles Rams. The Vikings finished the 1979 season with a record of 7-9 and outside the postseason picture.
As it turns out, according to Classic TV Sports, it was two years before CBS paired Madden and Summerall full-time. Madden spent the first eight games of the 1981 season sharing time with Summerall and another TV legend, Vin Scully, to see who he best “gathered” with in the stand. In the end, the answer was Summerall, and the rest is history.
It’s not a significant anniversary in terms of the numbers or anything like that, but it’s still a little bit of a story that I again was not personally aware of before it was brought on today’s broadcast.