Remembering Lions’ Great Alex Karras

NFL fans today come together to mourn in the loss former Detroit Lions DT Alex Karras, who passed away in his family home in Los Angeles after losing his courageous fight to kidney and heart disease. Karras, 77, was one of the premier Defensive Ends for the Detroit Lions during the 1960s, known simply as the “Fearsome Foursome.” He began his football career in his hometown of Gary, IN, before eventually taking his talents to the Iowa Hawkeyes, where he was an All-American for all four years. Eventually, the Lions selected Karras with their 10th pick in the 1958 NFL Draft. The Lion’s franchise was rewarded with the selection as he went on to make Four Pro Bowls during his successful 12-year career. Perhaps some of his most remarkable accomplishments include the NFL Hall of Fame committee also named Karras to the All-Decade Team of the 1960s, as well as his induction to his 1991 induction into the College Football Hall of Fame in front of his beloved Hawkeyes. Karras bid adieu to the NFL in 1970 at the age of 35, before eventually pursuing a movie career.

DT Karras ready

Aside from rolling Quarterbacks during his NFL stint, Karras also had audiences rolling in laughter in his appearances in the 80’s sitcom “Webster,” and a cameo appearance in Mel Brooks’ “Blazing Saddles.” Karras’ acting career also allowed him to transition beautifully into a broadcasting role with “Monday Night Football,” where both he and the boisterous Howard Cossell spent three years together. Any frequent viewer of those broadcasts will never forget his “University of Mars” reference.

Detroit Lions President Tom Lewand offered this statement on Karras’ passing: “On behalf of the William Clay Ford Family and the entire Detroit Lions organization, we extend our deepest sympathies to Susan, the Karras Family and to all of Alex’s friends and fans across the country.” While his legacy reached far beyond the gridiron, we always will fondly remember Alex as one of our own and also as one of the best to ever wear the Honolulu Blue and Silver.”

The loss of the noteworthy Lion’s star is just the latest in a series of controversial deaths associated with concussions. The heated dispute between former NFL players and current NFL commissioner Roger Goodell continues to gain steam as the untimely casualties continue. Among the numerous former players who have filed suits against the NFL for concussion-related symptoms, one of whom happened to be Karras. The NFL has said it did not intentionally intend to mislead players and is seeking action to better protect players and to advance the science of concussion management and treatment as the game progresses.

For those who wish to lend a helping hand to the family of this captivating icon, the family asks that in lieu of flowers that you please make a donation to one of the organizations Alex Karras ardently supported: Natural Resources Defense Council, Bioneers, Greenpeace Foundation or the Pesticide Action Network.

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