Watchdog

Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Gifford, Meredith were an odd couple

Young sports fans presumably learned a lot they didn't know about Don Meredith in the reporting of his life and death earlier this week.

But there was one nugget I never had heard before: That Meredith and his old booth partner, Frank Gifford, once had starred together in a stage production of "The Odd Couple."

Really? Yup. It happened in 1985 for a limited, fundraising run in Santa Fe, N.M., where Meredith lived until his death Sunday.

"It was fun," Gifford said when I asked him about it Tuesday. "I was going through a tough time in my life and I went out and stayed out there for about a month and we did 'The Odd Couple' for community theater.

"I was Felix and he was Oscar."

Did that reflect your real-life personalities? "In a way, when you compared the two of us," he said, laughing. "I was much more, um, I started to say 'stable.'

"I was much more of a Felix. He could never have been Felix. He was very flamboyant and outgoing."

(Meredith told Time magazine during the show's run, "He's so cute in his little apron.")

Gifford then expanded on his limited remarks about his old friend from Monday, including an emotional interview at halftime of the Jets-Patriots game.

"He was just fun," Gifford said. "He wanted to have fun, he had fun and anything he did, whether it was good for him or bad for him, he did it with the total maximum.

"I've never known anyone like that in my life. But he was sure fun to be around."

Tags: Odd Couple

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