Now this is an intresting story. The Legend of Alex ( The Mad Duck ) Karras is one of a kind that is for sure. Detroit Lion great, Film Actor and of course Pro Wrestler. His older brothers Lou ( Redskins) and Ted ( Bears, Lions) both played in the NFL. Ted had started his college career at Purdue but later transfered to rival Indiana. Giving the Hoosiers the upper hand in recruiting Alex Karras. However Alex was convinced by coaches to sign with Iowa. That is where the story begins but certainly does not end. Alex struggled as a freshman with classwork and was hampered by an ankle injury. After a dissapointing year Alex got very upset and had throwin his shoe at his head coach. Karras dod not earn a letter for the 1955 season. Karras got back into shape for the next season and was ready to play the opener against Indiana and face his brother. After another disagreement with his head coach Alex Karras quit the team for a second time. Alex and the coach managed to work it out to an extent and he did return to the team. However the realtionship between the two was always strained. Sense his playing days Alex Karras has never returned to Iowa.
It's ridiculous for Iowa to try to compete with Ohio State and Michigan in the Big Ten. Those schools have alumni groups that can get them anything they want.
In 1958 the Detroit Lions 1st round pick was defensive tackle Alex Karras from Iowa. He was a force right off the bat becoming one of the leagues top players at his position. Karras played 12 seasons but missed the 1963 season after being caught gambling. From 1960 - 1966 he was lined up next to Roger Brown making a legendary pair of tackles. His best season was in 1962 when the Detroit Lions finished 11-3. Karras first playoff game was also his final game in 1970. Despite his team not giving up a single touchdown on defense the Lions lost 5-0 to the Dallas Cowboys.
On January 7, 1963, Karras's ownership in Detroit's Lindell AC Bar became a source of controversy when league officials urged him to sell his financial interests in the place because of reports of gambling and organized crime influence. After first threatening to retire rather than give it up, Karras admitted placing bets on NFL games and was suspended by the league, along with Packers great running back Paul Hornung for one season. During his suspension Karras fell back on a previous job as a professional wrestler facing legends like Dick the bruiser. After returning in the 1964 season an official asked Karras at the coin toss heads or tails. Alex relied sorry sir I am not allowed to gambel. In 1971 after a knee injury the previous season Alex was told his job was in jeopardy during training camp. Alex was later released at the age of 35 after an unimpressive preseason.
Throught his career Alex worked as an actor starting with the movie Paper Lion which he filled the role of himself. After his release from the Lions Alex began acting full time with roles in Blazing Saddles, M*A*S*H, Webster, Porkys and much more. There is no doubt this four time pro bowler, All decade team member will be remembered for his days on the field. 161 games as a Detroit Lion, Karras was one of kind and probably only until recently was the best defensive tackle in Lions history. No Alex was not a high character player and no he wasn't a great role model probably. A Lions Legend, well I don't think there is any question about that.