When you can remember tuff guy NFL players in their heyday, then you hear that they’ve died at a reasonably respectable age… it makes you feel old.
I remember Merlin Olsen before the flower commercials, before the “Father Murphy” TV gigs. I remember him as a tuff guy on the defensive line of the LA Rams. As a kid I was always amazed to hear him speak, cuz it just seemed so incongruous that such a badass on the football field could be so soft spoken and gentle off the field.
RIP Merlin. And you’re taking yet another piece of my languishing youth with you.