Patriots OL Ted Karras’ great-uncle elected to Hall of Fame

Andy Hart
January 15, 2020 - 12:06 pm
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Football has always been the Karras family business. In fact, Patriots offensive lineman Ted Karras became the seventh member of his family to play collegiate football in the Big Ten during his career at Illinois.

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Now, the Karras family name has reached the heights of football accomplishment as Ted’s great-uncle, former Lions defensive tackle Alex Karras, has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this week as one of 15 members of the special Centennial Class of inductees for 2020.

Alex Karras was not only a dominant defensive lineman at Iowa where he finished second in the 1957 Heisman Trophy voting, but was also a NCAA heavyweight champion wrestler for the school. He went on to become the Lions’ career leader with 97.5 sacks, though it was not an official stat at the time, playing in Detroit from 1958-62 and 1964-70. He missed the 1963 season to a gambling suspension. Karras was a four-time All-Pro, but didn’t play in the postseason until the final game of his career, a 5-0 loss to the Cowboys.

Karras went on to garner fame for his acting career, including the role of George Papadapolis, the adoptive father of the title character in the TV sitcom “Webster.”

Alex Karras died in 2012 at the age of 77.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is a member of the Centennial Slate Blue-Ribbon Panel that selected the 15-member Centennial Slate for the Class of 2020.

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