Merlin Olsen, pro football Hall of Famer and broadcaster, dies at 69

Merlin Olsen, a 14-time Pro Bowler and former lead NFL analyst for NBC Sports, passed away Wednesday night at the age of 69.
Olsen worked with Dick Enberg on the top NBC on NFL team from 1978-1988, and the pair called the Rose Bowl from 1980-88. He also worked with Curt Gowdy, Jim Simpson and Charlie Jones during his NBC days (1977-89).
Olsen jumped to CBS in 1990 and worked with Dick Stockton, Sean McDonough and Brad Nessler for two seasons.
The Enberg-Olsen pair was remarkable. Olsen was very knowledgable about the game but was never over-stated or prone to hype.
For many Americans, however, Olsen will be remembered as a commercial spokesman for FTD Florists, and as the character Jonathan Garvey on “Little House on the Prairie.”
Olsen passed away from mesothelioma. He was diagnosed last year, and in January he filed a lawsuit against NBC Studios, NBC Universal and 20th Century Fox for exposing him to asbestos.
Olsen was voted to the California Sports Hall of Fame for 2010. The football field at his alma mater, Utah State, is going to be named in his honor in the fall.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form.
  • Blog Author

    Ken McMillan

    Ken McMillan has been covering sports since he got his first writing job in 1979. He has covered Section 9 athletics for most of the past 28 years. He reports on college sports, including Army and Marist College. He also writes on TV/radio sports ... Read Full
  • Categories

  • Archives