With the death of Alex Karras I thought it might be appropriate to highlight some of the work that Karras did on the football field. Karras is inherently known for his work as an actor and the show Webster, but many people should also make a note of the work that he did on the gridiron. The number of statements that came out from his past teammates shows what kind of positive impact Karras on the Detroit franchise.
Karras was a star defensive lineman at the University of Iowa, he actually finished second in Heisman Trophy voting his senior year in Iowa City. You typically do not see a defensive lineman end up at the top of the Heisman Trophy candidate list.
Karras was a three time All Pro and surely would have appeared in a number of Pro Bowls. Karras was on some fairly uncompetitive teams with the Detroit Lions, but this should not mean that we should not recognize the great work that he did. Karras is someone who people should be able to find inspiration from, he was involved in a number of political causes as well and he wasn’t afraid to stick his neck out there. Karras was a known gay rights advocate and played a gay man in Victor/Victoria.
Karras also appeared in the cult classic Porky’s. Porky’s was an American Pie for a younger, less desensitized generation in my estimation. There were rumors that Karras began to resent his acting role on Webster because Emmanuel Lewis came to be such a breakout star. The hard work of being a football player and a professional wrestler may have given Karras the perspective that he needed to be a successful television producer, many television producers need to have empathy for working people. Karras was an executive producer of the made for television movie “Maid in America”
Alex Karras was committed to helping find ways to prevent less concussions in the world of football. Upon his death he agreed to have his brain sent to different labs in order to have it tested. The long term impact of long term back injuries is something that people will make a note of because of the fact that Karras died from kidney failure. Karras had been diagnosed with dementia a couple of years ago, he and his family expressed a need to learn more about brain injuries. Karras did retire from football at age thirty five, he spent years as a broadcaster for ABC’s Monday Night Football.