YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Alex Karras: A fond memory from a Times reader

October 11, 2012|By Sam Farmer
  • The late Alex Karras made an impression on a Times reader that has lasted 40 years.
The late Alex Karras made an impression on a Times reader that has lasted… (Associated Press )

Just got a great note from Times reader Myron McGhee about his encounter 40 years ago with Detroit Lions star Alex Karras, who died Wednesday:

For more than 20 years, a relative of mine worked as a housekeeper, a cameraman and later office manager for the Detroit Lions. In the early 1970s when I was seven or eight years old my family was able to attend a playoff game in the Cotton Bowl between the Lions and the Cowboys.

We lived in Killeen/Fort Hood at the time, but made the three hour trek to Dallas. It was the late fall, it was bitterly cold. We didn’t have tickets, but had been told to just come to the game and our cousin would scrounge up enough comp tickets.

That plan failed as the problem was our cousin worked in the press box and at the top of the stadium so couldn’t meet us at any of the gates. Finally as halftime ended we made contact and my brother was able to go into the game. Sometime during the fourth quarter, I think, a kind hearted African American security guard took pity on my parents, myself and my 11 year old sister. He let us stand inside the tunnel gates -- without tickets -- so that we could see a portion of what became a legendarily low scoring playoff game. 

After the game I remember our cousin yelling out of the locker room door for my dad. My mom and sister had to wait outside, but my dad, my 14 year brother and an 8 year version of me slid into the locker room. We were introduced to several players, a couple who later were inducted into the Hall of Fame!  A lot of players came over and chatted and moved on, but Alex was one of the guys who came over and chatted with us for close to 30 minutes.

That was 40 years ago and I’ve never forgotten the moment. He had that kind of charisma. He will be missed.

It’s one among many, but thank you for your story/obit on one of my football heroes.



Alex Karras dies at 77

Photos: Alex Karras, 1935-2012

Videos: Alex Karras' long TV career

Los Angeles Times Articles