CANTON, OH – The Pro Football Hall of Fame on January 15 announced the selections for the centennial Hall of Fame class. Among them is the late Greek-American football legend Alex Karras who played defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions from 1958-1962 and 1964-1970.
Karras “made four Pro Bowls and was a three-time first-team All-Pro, but he also missed the 1963 season while serving a suspension for gambling,” the Detroit Free Press reported, adding that “many believe that suspension is what kept Karras from Canton while he was alive, though Green Bay Packers running back Paul Hornung, who also was suspended for gambling, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986.”
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) January 15, 2020
The Detroit Free Press also reported that Karras’ nephew, New England Patriots center Ted Karras, “told the Free Press in August that he hoped to see Karras in Canton next year.”
“We need to get him in the Hall of Fame. Let’s go. Hornung’s in. Come on, Detroit. We need the Detroit media to take up the flag here and get it going. They just loosened up the rules,” Ted Karras said, the Free Press reported.
Besides his extraordinary football career, Karras whose Greek roots are from Chios, went on to a successful acting career as well. He is perhaps best known for his role on the 1980s TV sitcom Webster, but his first major role was playing himself in the film Paper Lion (1968) based on the book by George Plimpton. He also appeared in the Mel Brooks’ comedy Blazing Saddles (1974). He passed away in 2012.