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Don Meredith, R.I.P.

By admin Published: December 6, 2010

Every now and then I would wonder what Don Meredith was up to. Would he return to the public eye? There was a time, after all, when he verged on ubiquity, thanks not only to "Monday Night Football," but to acting work which included some decent turns with Tony LoBianco on "Police Story." But after he left "MNF," he seemed to take himself out of the public eye as deliberately -- and possibly even more successfully -- than Johnny Carson had after his retirement. And apparently that was fine with him.

The Dallas Morning News has a detailed account of Meredith's life. It includes his complicated relationship with coach Tom Landry while Meredith was quarterbacking the Dallas Cowboys (Meredith was unquestionably the inspiration for Mac Davis's QB character in the football classic "North Dallas Forty"), along with some notes about his post-"MNF" years.

I liked Meredith onscreen. (Never saw him in person.) He and Howard Cosell balanced each other perfectly -- Cosell trying to bring gravitas and significance to football, Meredith essentially reminding us it was still about games; Meredith at times too casual about the proceeedings, Cosell reminding viewers that games matter. I know, there were other people in the booth, too, but did they ever matter when Cosell and Meredith were at work and play?

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