Advertisement
 
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsPete Rose

Merlin Olsen was a tough, gentle giant

JERRY CROWE

Text messages from press row…

March 11, 2010|Jerry Crowe

The Los Angeles Rams of the 1960s and early '70s were more fun to watch when their opponents had the ball....

The great Merlin Olsen and his flashier and no-less-dominant teammate, Deacon Jones, helped make defense cool....


FOR THE RECORD:
Jerry Crowe: Crowe's "Text messages from press row . . ." column in Friday's Sports section included a comment on Chick Anderson's call of Secretariat's 31-length victory in the 1973 Belmont Stakes. The correct spelling of Anderson's first name is Chic. —

Olsen, who sat out only two games in 22 years of high school, college and professional football, once told Sports Illustrated of his ability to play with pain: "Man is an adaptable creature and one finds out what one can and cannot do. It's like walking into a barnyard. The first thing you smell is manure. Stand there for about five minutes and you don't smell it anymore."...

Olsen "went swimming in Loch Ness," Jim Murray once wrote of the 14-time Pro Bowl player, "and the monster got out."...

Ironically, after making his name in such a violent vocation, Olsen mostly portrayed kindly, gentle characters on television....

Olsen's given name, many believed, was a blending of his parents' names, Merle and Lynn, but actually it had been a favorite of his mother's since she'd read "King Arthur."...

RIP, No. 74....

With or without goggles, Reeves Nelson is relentless....

The Jennifer Hudson remake of "One Shining Moment" that will premiere next month at the Final Four was produced by Harvey Mason Jr., a former Crescenta Valley High basketball player who played on the Sean Elliott-led Arizona team that reached the Final Four in 1988....

Isn't it about time for Ron Artest to be less deferential?...

Orlando Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy, on Donald T. Sterling's latest moves: "It's just hard to comment on anything another organization does because you don't know why or how. And multiply that by about 10 with the Clippers."...

Spotted riding a bicycle along the Strand in Hermosa Beach last week: injured Clippers forward Blake Griffin....

Don't doubt for a minute that recuperating at home from shingles rather than traveling with perhaps the best Kings team since the Wayne Gretzky era is killing Bob Miller....

Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers will finish third in the National League West, according to predictionmachine.com, which forecasts a third-place finish for the Angels too....

Baseball's all-time hit leader, Pete Rose, ranks outside the top 170 in all-time batting average....

When a Bay Area columnist wrote in jest this week that Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell was rumored to have spent time at a clinic being treated for "lethargy addiction," the report was so believable that a TV sportscaster repeated it as fact....

Those who paint Willie Davis as the goat of the 1966 World Series because he made three errors in the fifth inning of Game 2 seem to forget that the Dodgers batted .142 in the Series and didn't score again after the third inning of Game 1....

On the other hand, Davis was one for 16 with four strikeouts in that World Series, which was swept by the Baltimore Orioles....

Marq Cheek of Moorpark ranks Chick Anderson's call of a Triple Crown winner's 31-length victory in the 1973 Belmont Stakes among sports broadcasting's all-time greats: "Secretariat is widening now. He is moving like a tremendous machine!"...

Among the sports figures portrayed by Oscar winner Jeff Bridges, several readers e-mailed to note, were a wide receiver in "Against All Odds" and a gymnastics coach in "Stick It."...

"The Blind Side," starring Oscar winner Sandra Bullock, is the highest-grossing sports movie of all time....

No. 2 is "The Waterboy."...

Thirty years ago this Sunday, 14 fighters and eight others associated with the U.S. amateur boxing team were among 87 passengers killed in a plane crash in Poland....

Among them were three Southern Californians — coach Junior Robles and boxers Paul Palomino and Byron Lindsay, all of whom will be inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame on June 26 at Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City....

In his new book, "God Made Me Do It," author Marc Hartzman recalls that kicker John Kasay of the Carolina Panthers told reporters after missing a potentially score-tying field goal late in a 1998 game, "I can say with absolute confidence that God did not want me to make that field goal."...

Why, God only knows.

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|