Sad news indeed, especially for those of us who grew up with the "Fearsome Foursome", in the heyday of the old Los Angeles Rams.
Olsen helped to anchor the Rams defensive line in the 60's and 70's, playing on a lot of teams that got close to the Super Bowl, but never quite made it. He then went on to television, doing not only "Prairie" but color commentary on NBC football games.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.”
And for many years, he was the commercial spokesman for the FTD florists.
The other members of the "Fearsome Foursome"? Lamar Lundy, Rosey Grier, and the "secretary of the defense" Deacon Jones.
Rest in peace, Merlin. You gave me a lot of good memories with the Rams of my youth.