Alvin Garrett, the subject of one of Howard Cosell's most widely rebuked remarks on "Monday Night Football," never had any hard feelings over Cosell calling him "that little monkey."
"I liked Howard Cosell," Garrett said. "I didn't feel that it was a demeaning statement."
Cosell, who died Sunday, created a furor with his comment during the Sept. 5, 1983, telecast of the Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins game. After watching Garrett, a Redskins wide receiver, make a darting run after a catch, Cosell exclaimed, "That little monkey gets loose, doesn't he?"
Garrett, 38, and a counselor at the King's Ranch organization for children in rural Shelby County near Birmingham, told the Birmingham Post-Herald he does not recall ever being angry at Cosell but does remember intense media attention during the episode.
"We had to send out a statement to the press," Garrett said. "If he had a downside in his career, that was it."
As Cosell was denounced for what some viewed as a racist comment, Cosell met with Garrett. Garrett said then, as he does now, that the comment did not bother him.
"Howard Cosell was a colorful guy," Garrett said. The broadcaster's death, he said, "is a sad day for sports."