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Karras, Lynch remembered as Detroit legends

October 14, 2012
CRAIG?REMSBURG - Senior Sports Writer (cremsburg@miningjournal.net) , The Mining Journal

Some people remember Alex Karras as "Mongo" in the movie classic "Blazing Saddles."

Or the father in the long-running television sitcom "Webster."

Or maybe as an analyst on "Monday Night Football" with the late Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford.

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CRAIG?REMSBURG

I'll always remember Karras, who died Wednesday at the age of 77, as a member of the Detroit Lions' "Fearsome Foursome" defensive line in the 1960s.

Specifically, I'll remember what he and linemates Roger Brown, Darris McCord and Sam Williams did against the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving Day in 1962.

The Packers, coming off their first NFL championship, were undefeated that year and had already beaten the Lions, 9-7.

But in what may be the most memorable game in Lions' history, Karras and his three linemates sacked legendary G.B. quarterback Bart Starr 11 times en route to a 26-14 victory, the Packers' only loss in a 13-1 season that ended in another NFL crown.

The "Fearsome Foursome" not only dominated the Packers' offensive line that game, it chewed G.B.'s blockers up and spit them out.

A picture of a swarm of Lions defenders tackling Starr is forever etched in the minds of longtime fans of the Detroit franchise.

Over 12 years with the Lions, Karras - a defensive tackle - was named to the NFL Pro Bowl four times. He wasn't particularly strong, or big. But he was quick and had great desire to get to the opposing QB.

Karras wasn't the only Detroit sports icon to pass away this past week. Budd Lynch, a veteran radio broadcaster who worked 63 years for the Detroit Red Wings and became the team's public address announcer, died Tuesday at age 95.

At a time when Red Wings fans were able to see only a few televised games on WWJ and Windsor's CBC via "Hockey Night in Canada," Lynch was THE conduit between the team and its fans via the radio.

He had a distinguished voice, calm, yet descriptive. Lynch was good at making his radio listeners "see" what was happening on the ice.

So many nights, when this native Detroiter was a youth/teenager thought by his parents to be in bed asleep, I was actually listening under the covers to a transistor radio while Lynch was doing the play-by-play of a Red Wings game.

In later years, when Lynch announced goals and penalties at Red Wings games in Joe Louis Arena, he may not have been seen, but you knew it was Lynch behind the voice.

Karras and Lynch. A pair of legendary sports icons who thrilled Detroit fans with their special talents.

They'll long be remembered by those who were there during their heyday.

Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is cremsburg@miningjournal.net.

 
 

 

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