Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 10/8/12
Long-time Detroit Lions fans remember Alex Karras as one of the most dominating defensive linemen of his generation.

Movie buffs will never forget the scene from Blazing Saddles when he knocked out a horse with one punch.

Karras has lived his life on the edge, but that life apparently is approaching its two-minute warning. He is suffering from kidney failure and under hospice care at his home in California.

"The entire Detroit Lions family is deeply saddened to learn of the news regarding the condition of one of our all-time greats, Alex Karras," Lions president Tom Lewand said Monday night. "Perhaps no player in Lions history attained as much success and notoriety for what he did after his playing days as did Alex.

"We know Alex first and foremost as one of the cornerstones to our Fearsome Foursome defensive line of the 1960s and also as one of the greatest defensive linemen to ever play in the NFL.

Many others across the country came to know Alex as an accomplished actor and as an announcer during the early years of Monday Night Football.

"We join his legions of fans from both sports and entertainment in prayer and support for Alex, his wife Susan, and his entire family during this most difficult time."

Karras, 77, played for the Lions from 1958-62 and 1964-70. He was suspended for the 1963 season by then league commissioner Pete Rozelle after admitting that he had bet on NFL games.

During his suspension, Karras spent time as a professional wrestler, taking on the likes of Dick the Bruiser.

Nicknamed The Mad Duck, Karras was selected to the Pro Bowl four times, but he played in only one playoff game during all those years with the Lions. It was also his final NFL game. The Lions lost, 5-0, to Dallas to end their 1970 season. Karras retired before the next season because of a knee injury.

In many ways, Karras life was only beginning when his football career was ending.

Two years earlier, he had played himself in the film adaptation of George Plimptons nonfiction book, Paper Lion. That set up Karras for his acting career.

He appeared in numerous movies and TV shows, including a starring role in the ABC sitcom Webster, in which he played the husband of his real-life wife, Susan Clark. Karras also made appearances on the popular TV shows MASH and The Odd Couple.

His three-year stint as an analyst on Monday Night Football featured his memorable line about Otis Sistrunk of the Oakland Raiders. Karras said that Sistrunk, who was bald, fierce-looking and never went to college, was from the University of Mars.

Karras was a well-known volatile figure before he ever got to the NFL. He had constant run-ins with his college coach, Forest Evashevski, at Iowa. Karras once threw a shoe at Evashevski and quit the team at least twice.

But he was also an outstanding talent who led the Hawkeyes to a Rose Bowl victory as a junior and then finished third for the Heisman Trophy as a senior in 1957. Only three linemen have ever finished that high in the Heisman voting.

The Lions selected him in the first round of the '58 NFL Draft. His troubles with his coaches continued. Two of them, George Wilson and Harry Gilmer, lost their jobs after disputes with their star player.

Thats just Alexander George Alex Karras -- always controversial, never a dull moment.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jay Gruden gives out primo parking spots to hard-working players

Report: Colts' Jones suspended four games for PED use

Report: Royals have interest in Nick Markakis

Ezekiel Elliott domestic violence 911 call released

Manu Ginobili talks interest in 76ers before sticking with Spurs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lakers reportedly have ‘unnamed trade target in mind

Report: Rodman a 'person of interest' in hit-and-run

Draymond Green reaches plea deal in assault case

Evander Kane arrested after turning himself in

Former NFL coach Dennis Green passes away

Michael Vick says he would only sign with contender

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

Orioles affiliate pay tribute to David Bowie on their jerseys

Report: Rangers pushing trade efforts for Sale

Russell Martin day-to-day after sauna-related mishap

Celtics reportedly unwilling to give up much for Jahlil Okafor

Report: Jay Bruce drawing trade interest

Vitale: Trump’s speech “filled with lies,” might write in Coach K

Report: Nationals ‘want in’ on Chapman sweepstakes

Hornets co-owner blasts NBA, city for taking away All-Star Game

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

Vikings installing massive horn in new stadium

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker