Minus ten points for being Webster’s dad, but gaining it all back for his role as “Mongo”, Alex Karras actually had a successful acting career. Since we aren’t ranking athletes turned actors (yet) we will focus on his gridiron career, which was quite remarkable.
Alex Karras always seemed to follow his own path. His tumultuous College run at Iowa showcased brilliant play and off field issues and this followed him to the NFL. He was suspended for the 1963 season for gambling but regardless of that transgression, Karras was one of the most popular Lions in that franchise’s history. He was a three time First Team All Pro and the leader of the Lions defense for a decade.
Considering how high his charisma was off field, the fact that he an on field career that matched it is a testament to how good he was. Ironically, it is those same off field events that though made him popular and known may be preventing him from getting into Canton.
The Bullet Points:
Country of Origin: Gary, Indiana, U.S.A.
Eligible Since: 1976
Position: Left Defensive Tackle
Played for: Detroit Lions
Drafted: 1st Round, 10th Overall in 1958
Major Accolades and Awards: Pro Bowl Selections (4) (1960, 1961, 1962 & 1965) First Team All Pro Selection (3) (1960, 1961 & 1965) Second Team All Pro Selection (4) (1962, 1964, 1966 & 1967) NFL 1960’s All Decade Team