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John Madden: Pat Summerall is 'the voice of football'

On the day Pat Summerall passed away at the age of 82, it's only natural people want to hear from the man with whom Summerall always will be most associated.

That man, of course, is John Madden.

"Pat was my broadcasting partner for a long time, but more than that, he was my friend for all of these years," Madden said in a statement. "We never had one argument, and that was because of Pat. He was a great broadcaster and a great man.

"He always had a joke. Pat never complained, and we never had an unhappy moment. He was something very special. Pat Summerall is the voice of football and always will be."

Madden's thoughts resonate with what we've heard from others close to Summerall, who spent 10 years in the NFL as a player and another 40 years as an iconic broadcaster.

NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger was Summerall's broadcasting partner when Summerall returned to the booth following a hiatus in 2002. Baldinger remembers Summerall as a gifted storyteller who commanded respect with no mere attempt.

"Everywhere we went, it was riding with royalty," Baldinger told Andrew Siciliano on NFL Network. "You'd be down in the booth, you'd be down on the field, and somebody from the upper echelons of pro football or media, some other iconic player, would come over and say hello to Pat and pass the wishes on to him and just say how happy they were that he was back, that he hadn't stopped."

Many are remembering Summerall on Tuesday as the voice of their generation. As far as compliments go for a broadcaster, it doesn't get much better.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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