“Dandy Don” Meredith Provided Perfect Catalyst in MNF Booth

We lost a good one when former Dallas Cowboys QB and sports analyst Don Meredith passed away. After he retired from football, Don was paired with the one and only Howard Cosell in the Monday Night football booth which was not an easy assignment. Howard was opinionated and took journalism and himself quite seriously while Don on the other hand was the complete opposite. Together they formed sports version of the “Odd Couple” a sitcom that aired in the 70’s on ABC at about the same time interestingly enough.

Don was great with a spontaneous one liner and his wit kept things light in the booth when Howard went off on one of his sports rants. Howard had an uncanny ability to create drama from even small trivial matters while Don had the ability to find comedy in any awkward situation.  Howard would elaborate in length on a topic while demonstrating his rather vast vocabulary, then Don would sum it all up in a one liner that put it where even the most simple-minded and common people could understand it. Remarkably they had chemistry.

Having two Cosells in the booth would be unthinkable and on the other hand having two “Dandy Dons” would have been just too much. But together they were great. It simply worked as Don provided the perfect catalyst in the MNF booth to help us all digest, tolerate, and even at times, appreciate Howard Cosell. Today we would say, “Don Meredith kept it real.”

Some of My Favorite Don Meredith Quotes on MNF

  • The Cleveland Browns had a player named Fair Hooker (believe it or not).  Don Said, “Fair Hooker, that’s a great name, isn’t it? But I haven’t met one yet”.
  • His former team, the Cowboys, were getting blown out by the Cardinals 38-0 when fans started chanting “we want Don!”. Don stated,  “no way you’re gettin’ me down there!”
  • After Howard used the term, “eschewing the field goal”. Don replied,  “S-what Howard?”
  • During a game, a fan ran across the field during a time out which clearly irritated Howard. Howard began analyzing the situation when Don said,  “maybe the bathroom lines were too long on his side of the stadium, Howard”
  • On Tom Landry, former Cowboy Walt Garrison when asked if he had ever seen Landry smile said “no, but I’ve only been here 9 years”, Meredith quipped: “Tom Landry is such a perfectionist, if he was married to Raquel Welch, he’d expect her to cook.”
  • Former RB Walt Garrison was known as a 4 yards and cloud of dust type which Don described as, “if you needed 4 yards, you’d give the ball to Walt and he would get you 4 yards. If you needed 20 yards, give it to Walt and he would get you 4 yards”…
  • A sleeping Oiler fan woke to find he was being watched by the TV cameras and flipped them the bird. “There’s an Oiler fan who still thinks his team is #1” Meredith said.

And who can forget Don’s version of the Country Western song at the end of the game, “Turn out the lights, the party’s over, they say that all good things must end”…

“Dandy Don” was one of a kind.