Just how big was Merlin Olsen, the Rams' 14-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle who died at 69 last week? "Merlin was 6-5 and a shade under 300...

Just how big was Merlin Olsen, the Rams’ 14-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle who died at 69 last week?

“Merlin was 6-5 and a shade under 300 pounds,” noted ex-Packers guard Jerry Kramer, a fellow Hall of Famer and longtime nemesis. “He was a Phi Beta Kappa, had a master’s degree in economics. He had a great heart, he never quit, he never slowed down, he never gave you an inch.

“And those were his weak points.”

As the late Jim Murray once wrote in the L.A. Times: “Merlin Olsen went swimming in Loch Ness, and the monster got out.”

The name game

“The team in the (NCAA) tournament field with the best player names has to be Baylor,” wrote Jack Finarelli at SportsCurmudgeon.com. “They can put these four guys on the floor at the same time if they want:

• “Quincy Acy.

• “Tweety Carter.

• “LaceDarius Dunn.

• “Ekpe Udoh.”

Girls of Summer

Victoria’s Secret is coming out with a line of baseball lingerie featuring 11 teams — Angels, Cardinals, Cubs, Dodgers, Mets, Padres, Phillies, Red Sox, Twins, Yankees and White Sox.

Destined to be the top-selling item among Red Sox purists: the Teddy Ballgame.

One for the aged

Former Chicago Bears speedster Willie Gault wants to give the NFL another shot this season — at age 50.

First lesson for a senior-citizen receiver: The stop-and-go doesn’t involve Kaopectate and Metamucil.

Back to school

New England Patriots defensive end Ty Warren is eschewing his $250,000 offseason workout bonus so that he can complete his undergraduate degree at Texas A&M.

This despite criticism from jock-factory apologists, who say he’s setting a bad example for the modern-day athlete-student.

Talking the talk

• Reggie Hayes of the Fort Wayne (Ind.) News-Sentinel, on QB Jim Sorgi, Peyton Manning’s former Colts backup, signing on to back up the Giants’ Eli Manning: “When Sorgi retires, he’ll go into business with Cooper.”

• Headline at SportsPickle.com: “Highly-touted floor-slapper commits to Duke.”

• Brad Dickson in the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, on the Miami Dolphins charging $5 extra for seats in the shade: “And $3,487 more for seats downwind from Ricky Williams.”

• Comedy writer Alan Ray, on the trickle-down economics of the NCAA tournament: “The winning school will receive millions from TV revenues. The winning players each get a T-shirt.”

Skinny and the Jets

Rex Ryan, the Jets’ corpulent coach, underwent lap-band surgery last Saturday, the New York Daily News reported. Or as it’s known in medical-billing circles when the 31st rolls around: gut-check time.

Dwight Perry: 206-464-8250 or dperry@seattletimes.com