Sleep well, Gentle Giant
March 12, 2010 7:07 AM Subscribe
posted by bwg (29 comments total)
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, NFL legend
and TV star
(Little House on the Prairie; Father Murphy), has passed away at 69 from mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer. As I knew him more from TV than from football, to me he will always be the gentle giant
From AP News:
Merlin Olsen, a Hall of Fame defensive lineman with the Los Angeles Rams who was a charter member of the team's famed Fearsome Foursome, then made a remarkably smooth transition into careers in broadcasting and acting, has died. He was 69.
Olsen played 15 seasons in the NFL from 1962 to 1976, all with the Rams. He was the league's most valuable player in 1974 and appeared 14 times in the Pro Bowl. After retiring as a player, he spent another 15 seasons in broadcast booths as an analyst for NBC and CBS and acted in such television shows as "Little House on the Prairie" and "Father Murphy."
With the Rams, Olsen helped popularize the star power of defensive linemen sacking the quarterback. The Fearsome Foursome of Olsen, David "Deacon" Jones, Rosey Grier and Lamar Lundy, a rare bright spot on mediocre teams from 1963 to 1966, used size, speed and skill to terrorize offenses.
"He was ferocious and fearless on the football field and then the other probably more important aspect of his personality was he was a true gentleman," said fellow Hall of Famer Jack Youngblood, his teammate with the Rams in Los Angeles. "We all know what a wonderful, tremendous football player he was, but he was so much more than that."