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Tom Brookshier dies at 78

Longtime Eagles defensive back and NFL broadcaster Tom Brookshier died Friday at the age of 78. Brookshier lost a battle with cancer.

Brookshier, one of seven Eagles to have his number retired, was a two-time All-Pro defensive back and played for the Eagles’ 1960 championship squad. He spent all seven of his professional seasons, interrupted by a stint in the Air Force, with the Eagles and finished his career with 20 career interceptions.

After his playing days ended, Brookshier teamed with Pat Summerall on CBS’s top broadcast team. The pair worked together for most of the 1970s on game broadcasts and also narrated the popular This Week in Football highlight show. He and Summerall parted ways when John Madden was elevated to the top team in 1981, but Brookshier remained with the network until 1987. Most of Brookshier’s career was before my time as a football watcher, but I’ve heard people speak highly of his work on several occasions.

Eagles coach Andy Reid shared his thoughts on Brookshier in a statement released by the team.

“Tom Brookshier is one of all-time greats, both for what he did on the
field and for the kind of man he was off the field. I will always remember him for his
booming and bright personality. He had an uncanny love for life, a love
for his family and a love for the game of football, especially for the
Philadelphia Eagles. He bled green and I will always cherish our
conversations and the relationship that we fostered throughout my
tenure in Philadelphia.”

Our condolences go out to Brookshier’s friends and family.

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29 Responses to “Tom Brookshier dies at 78”
  1. Wingslax35 says: Jan 30, 2010 2:03 PM

    Sad day in Philly. Not only was he a Hall Of Fame player, he was a Hall Of Fame man. Tremendous loss.

  2. Tomthebombtracy says: Jan 30, 2010 2:03 PM

    Before ESPN and NFL Network, “This Week” was all we had to look forward to between games. We also saw highlights from other games the week previous. I loved the Brookshier-Summerall pairing. I thing I THINK I remember and maybe Florio down there in the metropoilis of Bridgeport, WV (where I’ll be Friday) can remember. Was it Brookshier nervously trying to interview Duane “No Talk” Thomas after a SB win.? That and Pete Rozelle presenting the Lombardi trophy to Al Davis were two of the most awkward (and best remembered or mis-remembered) in TV/

  3. BikerSaint says: Jan 30, 2010 2:11 PM

    I am old enough to not only remember them as a broadcast team, but to tune in weekly to see it. They were the best, only topped in my opinion by Madden/Michaels. Sadly, Summerall has lost a lot of his skills as age has moved in. Does anyone remember Ray Scott as an announcer? Those were the days. They would comment on the play and not tell you about the player’s wives, problems or any of their personal history. I miss those days.

  4. mustbechris says: Jan 30, 2010 2:22 PM

    Not unexpected I guess, but this still sucks. Thanks for everything you’ve done for the city. RIP.

  5. dittoh says: Jan 30, 2010 2:57 PM

    I remember listening to Tom every morning on the radio in Philly. I pray that he is in Gods’ loving hands.

  6. DJSlyBri says: Jan 30, 2010 3:00 PM

    Don’t forget Brookshier was the original co-host of the WIP morning show with Angelo Cataldi.
    Philly loved that guy. He will be missed.

  7. oldsalt says: Jan 30, 2010 3:36 PM

    Tom and I worked on-air together at WCAU-TV in Philadelphia during the mid-60’s with John Facenda, another great NFL voice. Tom was a knowledgeable sportscaster, as well as a fun guy to hang out with.
    My condolences to his family. (Lew Wood)

  8. edgy1957 says: Jan 30, 2010 3:41 PM

    I remember when Brookshire and Summerall worked together. I always enjoyed the pairing but alas, the powers that be split them up. Still, not a bad run while it lasted. He will be missed by many who remember him as a player, a broadcaster and a person and not necessarily in that order.
    As an aside, Tom and Pat weren’t the most demostrative guys in the booth and I enjoyed that. I will tell you now when I hear guys like Mike Tirico screech at even the simplest of plays, I want to turn off the game and if I were in the booth, I’d probably hit them over the head with a blunt instrument so they’d shut up. If you have to scream in order to make the game exciting then maybe the game shouldn’t be broadcast in the first place.

  9. footballhistorian says: Jan 30, 2010 3:47 PM

    Oldsalt – I spent my younger years in Media, Pa (just outside of Philly in Delaware County) during the 60s and remember Facenda’s voice along with Tom’s. Didn’t he call the Ice Bowl? I’m not sure why I’m remembering that. I watched that game and thought he was part of that broadcast team. Could be wrong.

  10. edgy1957 says: Jan 30, 2010 3:54 PM

    John Facenda, Ah, The Voice Of God. I loved everything that guy did. I think that there are two really GREAT voices, him and James Earl Jones and both could recite Paradise Lost and make it interesting. 🙂

  11. Tomthebombtracy says: Jan 30, 2010 4:03 PM

    Maybe oldsalt can chime in but when I worked with John Facenda on voiceover work for commercials I was surprised that he didn’t know a lot about sports. I remember him misprounouncing Roberto Duran as “door-in.”
    That said, the business number I had for him in the summers (after he retired from TV work) was a golf course. “Oh, John, yeah, he’s coming up 18.” He was an absolute prince, tho. He would never quote an amount. You decide, he’d say. Then you knew if that was enough the next time you tried to use him………….

  12. bearsrule says: Jan 30, 2010 4:07 PM

    He and Pat Summerall were better than Summerall and Madden.

  13. bigrig says: Jan 30, 2010 4:08 PM

    Brookshier was one of the first guys to lose his job for making an inappropriate comment.
    He said the collective I.Q. of the Louisville basketball team was about 40.
    RIP Tom. I grew up listening to you and Summerall.

  14. Deb says: Jan 30, 2010 4:17 PM

    I remember being a little girl hearing Brookshire calling games on Sunday afternoons. And I agree with edgy1957 about sometimes wanting to take a two-by-four to the Monday night crew. Rest in peace, Mr. Brookshire.

  15. SFrancis1680 says: Jan 30, 2010 4:22 PM

    Brookshier and Summerall were great together, in a way that Madden and Summerall never were, …one of the very few ex-athletes who transitioned to the booth, in a way that gave them credibility

  16. extreme469 says: Jan 30, 2010 4:24 PM

    When I was a kid Brookshier and Summerall were the best. They were great to watch and listen to. They were not jock sniffers like most of the clowns on espn. I wish I could find some old broadcasts from back then. And yes BikerSaint, I remember Ray Scott. Great voice. My condolences to Tom’s family.

  17. Bwa Ha Ha says: Jan 30, 2010 4:27 PM

    Rest in Peace Brooky

  18. spliffbunker says: Jan 30, 2010 4:38 PM

    RIP Tom…
    he & Summerall were a great broadcasting team

  19. Yellow Ledbetter says: Jan 30, 2010 5:02 PM

    My condolences to his family and friends…….RIP Brooky.

  20. WINGED WARRIOR says: Jan 30, 2010 5:26 PM

    A Philly legend is gone .
    He was one funny dude , with a great sense of humour ; but on the field he was a terror , always in a scuffle with an opponent .
    He will always be with us and will be deeply missed .
    Fair thee well , WARRIOR !

  21. Greg B. says: Jan 30, 2010 5:39 PM

    TomthebombTracy asks: “Was it Brookshier nervously trying to interview Duane “No Talk” Thomas after a SB win.?”
    That was Duane Thomas’ one-word answer after a long, nervous question by Brookie. But it was more than Thomas had said all year, so everybody in the locker room cheered and it was a win for Brookie.
    RIP, Tom. You were one of the voices of the game for me when I was growing up.

  22. Lombardi 6 says: Jan 30, 2010 5:47 PM

    Brookie and Summerall were drunk off their asses-when doing the games—just like the rest of us…RIP Tom–A mans man who didn’t care for the gays or darkies…

  23. dr.g says: Jan 30, 2010 6:35 PM

    CBS split up the Summerall/Brookshire pairing because they thought that Tom was having an adverse effect on Summerall (partying too much). They later found out that Summerall was the ringleader after Brookshire helped organize the intervention that got Summerall to go to the Betty Ford Center. He was a great guy and a hell of a broadcaster. He, along with Summerall, understood that the GAME was what people were interested in, not the gasbag musings of some celebrity announcer. The world and the Sunday broadcasts were better then. God Bless.

  24. slipkid says: Jan 30, 2010 6:44 PM

    brookshier was excellent, and yes rig, he was censored out of a job.
    and today’s league of thugs makes the oldtimers look like choirboys.

  25. Little Tommy says: Jan 30, 2010 6:48 PM

    A true pro…broadcast booths could use a few more of T.B. He was great at his crafts!

  26. penguininbondage says: Jan 30, 2010 8:43 PM

    A part of my youth just passed. A real class act on and off the field.
    Lurie better not screw this up next season.

  27. aj says: Jan 30, 2010 10:01 PM

    Hearing about Brookshier’s passing brought a flood of memories of my teenage years. I was thirteen in ’70 and a huge pro football fan (Rams in the ‘blue & whites’ at the Coliseum) and watching football on Sundays. CBS’ NFL broadcasts with Summerall and Brookshier were
    par excellence!! Back then, CBS carried the NFC teams & NBC had the AFC teams. Summerall & Brookshier would both share their personal experiences with the teams (& sometimes players) playing that day. They knew the game, shared their memories & knowledge and genuinely liked each other. (Their purported exploits are legendary! Whatd’ya expect from a couple of Englishmen??!!) To this day, I still haven’t heard any broadcasters as compelling as Mr. Summerall & Mr. Brookshier. You planned your day around their game. When they were split up, the golden era of NFL Football Broadcasters was over. With all due respect to Messgrs. Madden & Michaels, nobody called broadcasts better than Brookshier & Summerall.
    To everyone out in Philly, my heartfelt condolences on your native son’s passing. You’ve been through a rough year having also lost Kalas. Man, include Fascinda in that group & you might legitimately claim having the best broadcasters at any given time!! Brookshier was a classic, on the field & off it. Might have been a Hall of Famer had he a lengthier career.
    God’s speed, Mr. Brookshier. You WILL be missed.

  28. Icon says: Jan 31, 2010 1:49 AM

    R.I.P. by all means Brookshier, but, as broadcasters the pairing of he & Summerall weekly conjured that “D’OH!” sound with their HOMER tack – i.e., official or un Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders.
    As such, the B & S duo remain the most over-rated broadcasters in NFL history.
    They were insufferable & insufferably pro-Dallas on CBS TV when they used to (seemingly) do all of the Dallas games for many, many years … as such, they were truly nauseating if the measure be neutrality.

  29. mustbechris says: Feb 2, 2010 3:59 PM

    pro-Dallas?! dude, he played for the EAGLES.

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