“Turn out the lights, the party’s over …”
That’s how “Dandy Don” Meredith used to signify that the weekly offering on “Monday Night Football” was over, even if it really wasn’t. As one team took control, or made a play that iced the outcome, the former Dallas Cowboys QB turned commentator would croon the intro to the old Willie Nelson ditty.
The lights went out for Meredith on Monday, when he died after suffering a brain hemorrhage. He was 72.
Meredith had not appeared on MNF since 1984, so many who now watch the iconic telecast probably are wondering why us older folks are making such a big deal about his passing. I guess you had to be there.
Meredith burst upon scene – along with foil Howard Cosell and straight man Frank Gifford – at the time (1970) when there wasn’t football on the tube every night and the game was different, as well. Meredith’s folksy style and homespun humor were the perfect counterpunch to Cosell’s bombast and loquacious ramblings.
The Seahawks had limited exposure to “Danderoo,” but their half dozen MNF appearances during his tenure were memorable – especially the first one, a wild 31-28 win over the Falcons in Atlanta on Oct. 29, 1979; and a 24-0 shutout win over the high-powered Chargers in San Diego on Oct. 29, 1984.
Gone, but definitely not forgotten. That is, and always will be, Don Meredith for those of us who “grew up” with him as a Monday night must.