Tom Brookshier died today, at the age of 78. He played cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1953-1960. Later, he went into broadcasting, and in 1965, became a color commentator for CBS. He broadcast three Super Bowls with Pat Summerall, did other pre-, and post game shows. While broadcasting for CBS, some of the broadcasters he paired with included Pat Summerall, Jack Whitaker, Jack Buck, Dick Vermeil, and Lindsay Nelson. He broadcast NFL games on CBS until 1986.
Years ago (1971), when I was just a kid, I briefly met and spoke to Tom Brookshier in Milwaukee. He and Jack Whitaker were walking outside the old County Stadium getting ready for an NFL game (Eagles versus Packers). As my dad and I were walking, I saw three or four dollars come out of Tom’s pocket. I quickly scooped it up and ran up to them and at first, they gave me a quizzical look as to say, “What do you want kid?” I initially asked Tom Brookshier “is this your money?” He quickly said no without checking his pockets. After Jack Whitaker checked both his pockets and realized he was not missing any money, Tom Brookshier said, “By golly, it is my money.” He then said, “I ought to buy you a hot dog” and grabbed the money from my hand and walked away.
My father was not too happy with him. He was surprised Mr. Brookshier could not even spare a dollar for a kid who was just being honest. Not even a thank you! Being a father with class and self-control, he did not want to create a scene but I could tell what he was thinking – something about Mr. Brookshier being a cheapskate but he would not say it out loud. At the time, I did not care about the money – I just thought it was fun to talk with two well-known sport’s broadcasters. Brookshier continued to broadcast on CBS for another 15 years so when my dad and I would see him on TV, he would just shake his head remembering that day and the comment Tom Brookshier made about buying me a hotdog.
May Tom Brookshier rest in peace.