"Dandy" Don Meredith died Sunday of a brain hemorrhage in Santa Fe, N.M. For my generation, he was an icon not only as a player for the Dallas Cowboys as they emerged as "America’s Team" but also as a television color analyst at the advent of "Monday Night Football".
I am sure that tonight’s Monday night game will pay significant homage to this colorful character. While television execs hated it, he was famous for whenever he felt the game was over he’d sing "Turn out the lights … the party’s over" after which America promptly turned off the game thus leaving the network’s advertisers high and dry. Now, of course, modern broadcasters take a 40-7 game with 7 minutes to play and try to tell you that the game’s still not over. "Stranger things have happened," they say.
Give me Meredith’s charm and honesty. He was a cultural touchstone who died at a young 72. He will surely be missed.