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Tackling a new career
Bob Ottum
January 19, 1981
After 15 seasons of knocking 'em dead for the Rams, Merlin Olsen is off to a socko start in show biz, where unlike some erstwhile colleagues he's no drag
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January 19, 1981

Tackling A New Career

After 15 seasons of knocking 'em dead for the Rams, Merlin Olsen is off to a socko start in show biz, where unlike some erstwhile colleagues he's no drag

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Well, that's about as racy as it gets, fans. She doesn't go to the motel, and here comes the big fight scene. It's one of those real, old-fashioned tavern wreckers, starting when Olsen and Swenson overturn their table and then swing furiously on a whole bar full of bad guys. The camera closes in as they start to lift the table.

Cut.

And here comes the final irony: one of football's greatest, biggest, baddest crushers of them all, the slashing defensive lineman who scattered 'em and shattered 'em for 15 years with the Rams—all 6'5" and 240 pounds of muscle—now steps aside. The extras come in, the stunt-men and the stand-ins. The camera starts up again, and they stage the fight with frightening, crunching realism while Olsen stands off to one side, quietly munching an apple.

Wouldn't he like to be out there fighting? Smashing those guys like in the good old days?

"Me?" Merlin Olsen says, and that easy, pleasant smile shows through the beard. "You forget that I'm a very, very gentle man."

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