Merlin Olsen was a monster on the field, but by all accounts a gentleman off it. I remember him terrorizing the New Mexico Lobos as the defensive star of brilliant Utah State football teams in the early 1960s, then moving on to a Hall of Fame career with the Los Angeles Rams — followed by a successful career as a TV NFL analyst and, finally, as an actor.
Olsen, 69, died Wednesday night. Though I never met the man, my sense of loss is real. I’m sure many of you feel the same.