Don Meredith, one of the most recognizable figures of the early Dallas Cowboys and an original member of ABC’s “Monday Night Football” broadcast team, died Sunday. He was 72.

Meredith’s wife, Susan, told The Associated Press on Monday her husband died in Santa Fe after suffering a brain hemorrhage and lapsing into a coma. She says a private graveside ceremony is being planned and that family members were traveling to Santa Fe.

via Cowboys’ Don Meredith dies after brain hemorrhage – NFL – Yahoo! Sports.

Don Meredith was the first bigger-than-life Dallas Cowboy. As a player, and then as one of the original Monday Night Football announcers, Don Meredith did as much as anyone to promote the image of the NFL as a big-time sports concern that could challenge, and then supplant major league baseball as the nation’s main sport.

For those of you too young to remember “Dandy Don’s” memorable announcing career, I just have to say that he was a character. Many fans, myself included, just waited with anticipation for the key moment in the game when one team seemed assured of victory, and Dandy Don belted out “Turn out the lights, the party’s over….”

I’m sure the MNF production crew and advertisers did not appreciate Don telling the audience that they may as well watch “The Love Boat”, but the fans loved it.

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