Gear up for gameday: Utah State
LARAMIE -- Conrad Dobler and Merlin Olsen never played one another in college, but each year when this game arrives, I can't help but think about the bad blood between those two on the football field.
Dobler, an undersized Wyoming grad who earned the title of "Dirtiest player" in pro football versus the mild-mannered Mormon from Utah State.
One appeared in beer commercials. The other, Father Murphy and other wholesome television programs.
Yet, this unlikely pair will always be linked.
Because Dobler, an offensive guard in St. Louis, did any and everything to make sure the Hall of Fame tackle in Los Angeles didn't get in his backfield. Here's an excerpt from an NFL Films interview with Dobler.
“One game, I knocked the crap out of Merlin Olsen. If you wanted to see it on instant replay, you had to go to the kitchen because I knocked him so far out of the TV frame," Dobler said with his trademark devilish grin. " After the game, he says, 'One of these days, someone’s going to break Dobler’s neck, and I’m not going to send any flowers.' What happens? He gets the $500,000 FTD commercial, and I don’t get s***. He goes to the Pro Bowl fourteen times. He’s in the Hall of Fame. He’s probably got more money than God. When he was doing Father Murphy on NBC, he had a graveyard scene. One of the tombs said: CONRAD DOBLER. GONE, BUT NOT FORGIVEN. It’s been twenty years since I played him, and I’m still on his f****** mind. And I like that.”
In the summer of 2019, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dobler at his home in Pueblo, Colo. Then 68 years old, the three-time NFL Pro Bowler was still feisty as ever. All these decades later, he still talked about the time he made Olsen "quit" on the football field. Check out this video:
Dobler bit, leg-whipped and gouged his way to a 10-year NFL career in St. Louis, New Orleans and eventually Buffalo.
While Olsen played the role of fatherly figure on day-time TV, Dobler perfected one of his favorite activities in front of cameras.
"(Miller Lite) used to send me two cases of beer a month,” Dobler told me. “I was actually getting paid pretty good to drink beer. I started feeling a little guilty about that. Here I have this degree from Wyoming and my job is to drink beer.
“I wish I could have that gig again.”
Here is the link to the full feature with Dobler "The Broken Warrior." I also penned a column from Pueblo titled "Dobler gave his life to football. Was it worth it?"
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Here is all you need to know -- and the links -- for tonight's tilt inside The War:
WHO: Utah State (3-4, 2-1) at Wyoming (4-3, 2-1)
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 22 at 7:45 p.m. MST
WEATHER: High of 64, low of 41, sunny, windy
WHERE: War Memorial Stadium, Laramie, Wyo. (29,181 capacity)
RADIO: Cowboy Sports Network
TICKETS: Wyoming Ticket office
BOX SCORE: ESPN
ROSTERS: Wyoming / Utah State
BETMGM ODDS: UW -4.5, O/U 44.5 (Subject to change)
HISTORY: Utah State leads 40-27-4 (UW won 44-17 in 2021)
HEAD COACHES: Craig Bohl / Blake Anderson
University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players
- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players