Sports

Frank Gifford’s Statement On The Passing Of Don Meredith

(AP Photo/ABC)

(AP Photo/ABC)

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“It is mind boggling that so many people from all walks of life have expressed to me their thoughts and sympathies on the passing of Don.

“We spent a lot of years together not only on Monday Night Football, but in sharing so much of our personal lives. I first met him when I was broadcasting games for CBS-TV. As we became closer, we would spend more and more time together. When he quite suddenly retired from the game in 1969, I suggested he talk with ABC’s Roone Arledge about a new project Roone had in mind, primetime football on Monday nights. To say that Don was an instant success would be a gross understatement.

“I joined the Monday Night Football team in the second year and, together with Howard Cosell, we helped change Monday night television into Monday Night Football or as some people called it Monday Night Madness. He occasionally would try his hand as an actor, but it wasn’t long before he realized that for millions of football fans, he would always be the one who ‘topped’ Howard Cosell with one-liners or a simple ‘come on, Howard.’

“But perhaps his trademark signature to Monday Night Football was when a team had a game locked up, be it midway into the fourth quarter or whenever, Don would break into a Willie Nelson hit called ‘Turn Out the Lights the Party’s Over.’

“Since Don’s retirement, he and his wife, Susan, had spent many happy years together in Santa Fe, New Mexico. More recently, Don had taken up painting and writing and over the last few years he and Susan had become deeply involved in their colorful and artistic community.”