The Mad Duck

“Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles.”
Alex Karras, former NFL Star, actor & broadcaster

Alex Karras, who recently passed away, was an excellent defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions for more than a decade. Karras probably was better known for what he accomplished in his post-playing days. He was a broadcaster for Monday Night Football and had success for many years both as an actor on television and in the movies. Karras played for the Detroit Lions for 12 years after being a first-team All American in 1956 at the University of Iowa. Karras was a four-time All-Pro  and was named to the NFL’s all-decade team in the 1960’s. Alex Karras was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

I enjoyed watching Alex Karras play football; he was a terrific player and one who was very competitive. We should have known he would be a success in his post-playing days in the entertainment world because he always had one-liners. For example, Karras said,”I may be big, but I’m slow.” Karras was suspended for the entire 1963 season by NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle for betting on games. In 1964, when asked to call “heads or tails” at the coin toss by the official prior to the start of a game, Karras replied, “I am sorry, but I am not permitted to gamble.”

Karras uttered one of the great lines in the history of Monday Night Football when he was talking about Otis Sistrunk. Sistrunk had not gone to college and Karras said, “Otis Sistrunk is from the “University of Mars.”

Karras played himself in George Plimpton’s “Paper Lion.” Alex Karras was known to many for his acting on the Sitcom Webster. Alex Karras may have been big; he also was a sensitive and caring man. Alex Karras; a good man who will be missed.

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