Few people can claim to have such a profound effect on their chosen career after they retire but Don Meredith, an all-pro quarterback made more impact on American Football after he finished playing. The NFL legend passed away on Sunday at a Santa Fe hospital, New Mexico at the age of 72.
Meredith, who was nicknamed “Dandy Don,” was one of the original line up on the Monday Night Football broadcast when it first aired on ABC back in 1970.
In those days NFL games were rarely televised as it was believed that the female orientated television of that era put women in control of the remote (if you could afford a TV with a remote at that time), which meant most broadcasters thought the notion would fail. Of course it was rare to have multi-television households then too.
However, the three man broadcast team of Meredith, Howard Cosell and originally Keith Jackson who was replaced after the first year by Frank Gifford transformed the world of sports coverage forever.
Cosell, who was once a New York lawyer, and Meredith a former Dallas Cowboys star, delivered great entertainment through their commentary and drew audiences of fans and non-fans alike. Their success was immortalised in a 1988 book entitled, “Monday Night Mayhem.
Meredith moved away from Monday Night Football in 1984, although the series is still running, now on ESPN, as it has for the past 40 years where it began on ABC, of which both channels are owned by Disney.
Before his television work and commentary skills, Meredith started out in the game playing college football for Southern Methodist University and after that he spent eight years with the Dallas Cowboys. He also managed three Pro-Bowls, but the high point of his playing career came in 1966 when he made League’s Player of the Year.
As yet no cause of death has been given, but Meredith will certainly be missed by NFL fans.
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