Thursday, March 11, 2010

Requiem for a Giant among men

I want to say that in an era of self centered obnoxious papered criminal athletes a man like the late Merlin Olsen looms larger than ever. He was a great football player but humble and never needed to toot his own horn. He was tough on the field but gentle and personable off it.

He portrayed the gentle giant in the movie the Undefeated with John Wayne. He is playing with a bunch of children when Rock Hudson asks him to reluctantly fight someone from John Wayne's group. He was the kind and gentle neighbor on Little House on the Prarie. He was the person you wanted your son to emulate.

He was a very good sportscaster and never bored you with flash or self promotion. It was about love of the game and you felt honored to be listening to him.

Perhaps the only athlete we have in a similar class is his team mate Rosey Grier. Other than getting mixed up with Bobby Kennedy and needle point there is almost no athlete that has served America with as great an example as Merlin Olsen.

Merlin Olsen is in the Hall of Fame for his contributions on the field. He was even a better person
off the field than on it.

15 comments:

Always On Watch said...

As one who doesn't follow football, I had no idea back in the days that I watched Little House on the Prairie that Merlin Olsen had been a football player. Of course, I DID find out long ago.

I do mourn his passing.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Merlin a Redskin before a flying aviatrix and her squadron shot him in the back?

Requiem for a Giant among men? I never knew he played for NY.

Anonymous said...

May the merciful Father Murphy say a little prayer for your souls.

beakerkin said...

Merlin played for the Rams. He is called a Giant because of his good example

Anonymous said...

Olsen played Father Murphy, an outdoorsman who disguised himself as a Catholic priest to provide cover for a group of orphans that were threatened to be placed in a workhouse. When outed he marries and adopts the orphans. (Seems Murphy has that altruism for wayward children in common with the author Charles Dickens who also advocated for the abolishment of child labor.) Olsen then played a Mennonite in a short lived series. However, Olsen was actually a Mormon who joined the denomination in 1963, well before the reformation that allowed Blacks to enter the Mormon priesthood. Knowing this, could a case be made that Olsen knowingly joined an avowed denomination of White separatists?

beakerkin said...

The way to judge Olsen is not on the basis of a flaw in his religious denomination. It is on the way he treated his team mates and led his life. He was beloved by all that knew
him.

His team mate and life long friend Rosey Grier is an ordained theologian whose extraordinary work is noted by all. They were brothers and close friends over four decades.

The lives of both are role models for all of us.

The Pagan Temple said...

Could a case be made that Barak Obama is a traitor because he knowingly belonged to Reverend Wright's anti-American cult for twenty-odd years? As a convert to the faith, I doubt Olsen was aware of that policy. Probably most of the born and raised Mormons weren't aware of it. It's not like it was shouted from the pulpit every Sunday.

Anonymous said...

And Deacon was a Deacon, too.

Anonymous said...

Grier was also quite the man.

From his Wikipedia:

"Grier served as a bodyguard for his friend, United States senator and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy. He was guarding Ethel Kennedy, the Senator's wife, who was then expecting a child, the night that Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles in 1968. Grier and Olympic gold medalist Rafer Johnson heard shots fired ahead of them. Grier grabbed the gun held by the assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, and jammed his finger behind the trigger, fracturing Sirhan's arm. Grier later said, 'I grabbed the man's legs and dragged him onto a table. There was a guy angrily twisting the killer's legs and other angry faces coming towards him, as though they were going to tear him to pieces. I fought them off. I would not allow more violence.'[8]"

Merlin had such a calming voice I thought.

Anonymous said...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/extremecraft/sets/491625/

Rosey's "Needlepoint For Men".

Anonymous said...

Check out this NFL film about the Fearsome Foursome:

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-network-top-ten/09000d5d8074cd10/Top-Ten-Nicknames-Fearsome-Foursome

beakerkin said...

Actually when you look at the bio of
Deacon Jones he is also a Giant. He had a tumor removed from his legs as a kid. Was expelled for participation in the Civil Rights movement and played at an off the map college and probably lost a fortune of cash.

Rosey is a great man aside from the needlepoint. Sadly, I recall he has helped athletes in trouble but can not find the link.

Plaxico Burress needs to talk to Rosey about being a father and a man.

Pagan

You are correct as Olsen was born into this religion. His life was one that inspired brotherhood for all.

The Rams did not have to worry about Rap sheets in those days.

The_Editrix said...

Beak, methinks Winters is hijacking this thread.

CM said...

Methinks too.

Winters should be happy home ALL alone with his mentor....maybe he could knit him some socks if he get bored and play footsies. LOL

CM

Anonymous said...

"Could a case be made that Barak Obama is a traitor because he knowingly belonged to Reverend Wright's anti-American cult for twenty-odd years?"

Well, that may very well be one contributing factor regarding his propensity towards anti-American legislation. I think Mark Levin might very well say so, and I might very well agree with him on that score.

Would you call the Rev. Wright a separatist?

All Olsen had to do is look around at church to put two and two together. But many White congregations are prone to self segregation as many Black ones are. Separatists of all stripes do what they do. They consider that a right, too. But the hard fought for right to integrate when and where ever one sees fit to is an American right as well, without question.

What would an aviatrix know about hijacking?