freep.com: Alex Karras was a giant in football, and a mean one at that. But off the field, he was an bigger presence.
Funny, flawed, durable, direct, bitter, brave and talented, Karras was all these things during 12 seasons as a defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions in 1958-70 -- and during a successful film and television career that followed.
Karras, 77, died about 3 a.m. today, surrounded by his family at his home in Los Angeles, after suffering from dementia and kidney failure. He was part of a large group of former players suing the NFL for head trauma.