I appreciate a Facebook friend posting an item from the Philadelphia Daily News, as I would have missed this news otherwise. Former broadcaster and, before that, Philadelphia Eagles star Tom Brookshier died Friday at the age of 78.
He was revered in Philly as a standout for that legendary 1960 Eagles NFL championship team, but I remember him better behind a microphone, paired with Pat Summerall as CBS’ top NFL announcing team in the Seventies. They called several Super Bowls, and as I recall, a lot of Dallas Cowboys’ games.
They were a good match, the briskly efficient Summerall handling the play-by-play, but Brookshier keeping the proceedings and his partner loose with his sometimes irreverent commentary.
“With Brookie, it was more of a conversation, like two guys in a saloon,’’ Summerall once told The New York Times.
That off-the-cuff style once famously got Brookshier, who also called other sports for CBS, in a little trouble for an offhand comment that the University of Louisville men’s basketball team “had a collective IQ of about 40.”
Brookshier apologized and later visited the Louisville campus to mend fences. (In fairness to him, some of those Denny Crum-coached teams did win games more on their talent than by playing a thinking man’s style of basketball.)
But that unpredictability was a trademark and it served him well as an early practitioner of sports talk radio in Philadelphia.
Click the link for a column on Brookshier by another Philly sports media legend, Bill Conlin.