When I spoke to Dick Enberg about the NCAA Tournament Tuesday, I had no idea Merlin Olsen was near death, or I would have asked him about his old friend and colleague.
Fortunately, CBS sent this statement from Enberg this morning:
"God doesn't create perfect men, but he came mighty close when he brought us Merlin Olsen. He was athletically GREAT and just as GOOD as a man. He personified the Greek ideal of a 'sound mind in a sound body.'
"How privileged I was to call his games as an All Pro, Hall of Famer-to-be Los Angeles Ram, and then to work at his side in the broadcast booth for 12 years. He was meticulous and thorough in his preparation, lessons he had learned as an all A student in high school and college.
"He was perhaps the brightest to ever play his position in the NFL. He was just as generous as a broadcaster as he was tough as a defensive tackle.
"I was privileged to be his TV colleague and his friend. I seriously doubt that I shall ever meet another that will measure up to his complete character. He was every part of a gentle giant."