Die-hard football fans loved this man. He came across as a gentle-giant and on the surface that is how he will be remembered. He was one of the top defensive linemen in the NFL, when he played for the Los Angels Rams and he helped form the Fearsome Foursome, that pro football fans from the late 1960’s to the early 1970’s won’t soon forget.
He was on the televison series “Little House on the Prarie”, with Michael Landon and then later he had his own show as “Father Murphy”.
He was outstanding analyzing the NFL, with the AFL/AFC version on NBC, along side Dick Enberg and he became a household name, as the spokesperson for the FTD Florist….
Merlin even had a little radio feature called “Flower Talk”, with Merlin Olsen, which was sponsored by FTD…..
I don’t ever remember hearnig anyone say a bad thing about this Gentle-Giant….
He is gone now, but never to be forgotten by those who watched him during his playing days up front on the “D” line with Rosey Grier and others back when the Rams were still in Los Angeles…..
Rest In Peace Merlin Olsen and you have earned that well-deserved rest….We will remember him well and will never forget how every big kid that played football back in the day, wanted to be the next Merlin Olsen…..
SALT LAKE CITY — Merlin Olsen, a Hall of Fame defensive lineman and member of the Los Angeles Rams’ “Fearsome Foursome” who followed up football with a successful television career in “Little House on the Prairie,” NFL broadcasts and commercials, has died. He was 69.
Utah State, Olsen’s alma mater, said he died outside of Los Angeles early Thursday after battling cancer. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lung lining, last year.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement lauding Olsen as an “extraordinary person, friend and football player.”
“He cared deeply about people, especially those that shared the game of football with him,” Goodell said. “Merlin was a larger-than-life person, literally and figuratively, and leaves an enormously positive legacy.”
Olsen was a consensus All-American at Utah State and a first-round draft pick of the Los Angles Rams in 1962.
The giant from northern Utah joined Deacon Jones, Lamar Lundy and Rosey Grier on the Rams’ storied “Fearsome Foursome” defensive line known for either stopping or knocking backward whatever offenses it faced. The Rams set an NFL record for the fewest yards allowed during a 14-game season in 1968.
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