ANALYSTS AND ACTORS
I take exception to Bob Ottum's statement that Merlin Olsen "is now TV's best football color man" (Tackling a New Career, Jan. 19). What about quality veteran broadcasters like Tom Brookshier and Hank Stram? As for newcomers, I believe John Madden compares favorably with anyone, including Olsen.
Ottum is correct in assessing Olsen as a great All-Pro and an "emerging character actor," but let's leave value judgments like "best color man" to the viewers.
West Chester, Pa.
Bob Ottum's fine article on Merlin Olsen left me with mixed emotions. I'm pleased to learn that Merlin's future in acting is a bright one. However, I'm an addict of TV football, and the prospect of losing Olsen as a color analyst gives me withdrawal pains.
Merlin and his partner, Dick Enberg, are surely the finest team on any of the networks. As the play-by-play announcer, Enberg is unhesitating, accurate and well informed, while Olsen provides a perfect blend of statistics, team strategy and personal insight. He is humorous without being oafish and instructive without being overbearing.
Good actors are a dime a dozen, but if you could somehow put a dollar value on the competency of a sports analyst of the caliber of Olsen, then I doubt that even George Steinbrenner could afford the price.
Bob Ottum slung some mud on Clint Eastwood. To say that Clint "just flat cannot squint properly" is like saying that Merlin Olsen didn't know how to put the crunch on an opposing quarterback.