Monday, December 6, 2010
Don Meredith, 1938-2010
Don Meredith, the great Dallas Cowboy quarterback who became one of the three guys in the booth during the glory days of Monday Night Football, has died of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 72 in Santa Fe.
The original team in the booth was Keith Jackson, Howard Cosell and Meredith, but Jackson was moved back to college football where he was outstanding for decades to come, to be replaced by an ex-jock, Frank Gifford.
Howard was hated for many reasons. He was a know-it-all, he was homely, he was Jewish and he had an irritating voice. But the good old boy Dandy Don made it clear that he actually liked Howard, and the good natured tension between them made it the best broadcast team in football for many years. Personally, I think Frank Gifford is, was and always will be a completely useless idiot, but Don and Howard were broadcasting gold.
He said a lot of funny things in the booth, but my favorite was this about two incredibly successful head coaches of the day: "If Tom Landry and Bud Grant had a personality contest, no one would win."
While I usually end my obituary tributes with best wishes to Don Meredith's family and friends, from a fan, all fans of Dandy Don know how this one has to end, sung by Willie Nelson.
"Turn out the lights, the party's over..."