It’s a sad day today for football fans as “Dandy” Don Meredith has passed away as the result of a brain hemorrhage. My memories of Meredith were of him being the cut up in the Monday Night Football booth as I was a little too wee of a tike to remember his playing days. He was the perfect counter to the straight man (Frank Gifford) and what seemed to be the self parody of a straight man (Howard Cosell). As a kid, I think that I was mostly focused on the action on the field, and the clarity of Gifford’s voice offering the play by play. The droning pomposity of Cosell’s voice was irrepressible to the point that there were probably not many personalities that you could get to take the third mic in the booth. “Dandy” Don was the perfect compliment to complete the trio.

He was irreverent. He didn’t need to tell the world the subtleties of the game, and be a big blowhard with regaling yarns of his glory days. You just got the feeling that Meredith lived in the present. He was naturally fun, entertaining, and charismatic. Football is a game. Sure pro football and the NFL is a very important game, and a big part of the culture for millions of Americans but it’s still a game. You could hear the smile in his voice as he quipped and interjected thoughts during the game. And, when our three hours of MNF fun was done each week, “Dandy” Don Meredith sang us a lullaby.

R.I.P. “Dandy” Don: