Alex Karass played 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions. (Associated Press )
Friends of Alex Karras say the former NFL great suffered kidney failure in the last two weeks and has been given only a few days to live.
Tom McInerney, a Detroit-area car dealer and a friend of Karras' since the 1950s, said Karras' wife, Susan Clark, told him of her husband's failing health in a phone call Monday.
The 77-year-old Karras has suffered from a variety of health problems in recent years, including dementia and cancer, and is part of the mass concussion lawsuit more than 3,000 former players have filed against the NFL.
Catherine Lincoln, general manager of Clark Karras Properties, said Karras was released from Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica over the weekend and is at his California home on hospice care.
The NHL and the players' association scheduled meetings in New York on Wednesday and Thursday, but their agenda does not include a discussion of the core economic issues behind the lockout that has canceled games through Oct. 24.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the talks will be a "follow-up from the meetings we had last weekend," which did not center on their main disagreements. He told The Times, "We would be happy to listen to the PA on economic or system issues, but they don't appear to be inclined to bring anything new to the table. As long as that's the case, I'm not sure we have more to add. They got the last two substantive proposals from us."
Responding to Daly, NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr said: "For more than a month, the owners have not wanted to meet to discuss the core economic issues unless it is on their terms, that is unless the players have yet another offer that includes significant concessions for them. By contrast we place no conditions on our willingness to meet."
The season was to have opened Thursday.
The sides still have substantial differences on how to share hockey-related revenue and on formulating a revenue-sharing plan that would bolster small-market teams.
Funny car racer Mike Neff kept his championship hopes alive, racing to victory in the rain-delayed NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa.
Neff won with a time of 4.030 seconds at 317.94 mph in a Ford Mustang to earn his fourth win of the season. Neff closed in on series leader Jack Beckman.
Khalid alBalooshi earned his first career top-fuel victory and V. Gaines (pro stock) also won at the fourth of six playoff events.
Lindsey Vonn wants to challenge the men's downhill skiers in a World Cup race next month, though her wish still needs the support of the United States team and Alpine skiing's governing body.
The U.S. ski federation said that it had not had a "formal discussion" about the possibility of its star racer challenging the men Nov. 24 at Lake Louise, Canada.