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A Legend Remembered

rememberdBy Reilly Manz      After a 12-year career with the Detroit Lions, Alex Kar­ ras was one of the last great players from the golden age of football to wear the familiar blue and silver on Sunday af­ ternoons. Karras, who passed away at age 77 on October 10, 2012, a 4-time pro bowler, not only stood out on the gridiron, but also on the silver screen of Hollywood, starring in the classic comedy Blazing Saddles in 1974, among other various television and cin­ematic appearances. Not only did he have a career in video, but in writing as well, author­ ing two novels.

But aside from Alex Karras’ impacts on both the Detorit and American community, the Karras legacy has lived on at Lahser for many years. Pete Karras, one of Alex’s sons, was a defensive coach for Lahser’s own Varsity football team for 7 years until this past season when he took a head coach­ ing job in Detroit. As a former football player at Lahser, I am fortunate enough to have a strong relationship with Coach Karras as a result of being coached by him for 2 years. During  an interview with him amongst the final weeks of this past 2012 season, him and I discussed his father’s passing and what his life meant to him and the communities surrounding Detroit.

To Coach (as I and many other players at Lahser know him), one of the most impor­ tant things to him are his val­ ues that he carries on as part of what was taught to him by his father as a boy and through­ out his life. “You always knew when he was mad at you;’ Coach Karras said; a trait that I can first handedly say Coach carried with him during his career at Lahser. “My dad was one of the original tough guys of football, so I think I kind of had that same mindset while coaching;’ he said.

If you asked any football fan born before the year 1950 about football in their days, the name Alex Karras would surely enter the conversation at some point as being one of the best and most influential players of his time. And as for the continuation of the Karras legacy at Lahser, it is rumored that Coach Pete Karras will be returning to coach at the new Bloomfield Hills High School for the 2013 season along with current  head Coach Dan Loria.

In more ways than one the Karras legacy will be carried on in the hearts and minds of generations to come, whether it be through the coaching of his son Pete, or in the spirit of Detroit football fans alike.

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