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SPORTS

Greek-American Football Legend Alex Karras among the Finalists for Pro Football Centennial Hall of Fame Class

December 23, 2019

CANTON, OH – The Pro Football Hall of Fame on December 19 announced on their website the finalists for the centennial Hall of Fame class. Among the finalists is the late Greek-American football legend Alex Karras who played defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions from 1958-1962 and 1964-1970.

According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s website, “A special Blue-Ribbon Panel comprised of many members of the overall Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee, Hall of Famers, coaches, football executives and several leading historians has scrutinized the merits of nearly 300 candidates nominated for consideration as part of the Hall’s special Centennial Class of 2020. The group of nominees has been reduced to a list of finalists that will be debated in a meeting in early January and voted on by the Blue-Ribbon Panel to elect the 15-member ‘Centennial Slate’ to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Those new enshrinees will be revealed in the days following the vote.

“The following finalists will be deliberated by the Blue-Ribbon Panel in January from which 10 Seniors, three (3) Contributors and two (2) Coaches will be elected to the Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2020.”

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.”

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).

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