Somewhere Mongo is smiling.
After informing Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson of their elections over the weekend, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the remaining 13 members of the special Centennial Class going into the Hall this summer. Former Lions defensive lineman Alex Karras was one of 10 Seniors candidates who gained admittance as part of the group celebrating the NFL’s 100th anniversary.
Karras played for the Lions from 1958-1970 and was named a first-team All-Pro on three occasions. He was also a six-time second-team All-Pro, which speaks to how highly regarded he was during his playing career, and is a member of the league’s All-Decade team for the 1960s. He was never a Hall of Fame finalist before this year.
Karras, who died in 2012, would go on to further fame after his playing days as an actor. For many, the most memorable part of that career was when he punched a horse while portraying the pawn in the game of life named Mongo in Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles.
That was a Hall of Fame movie moment and now Karras’ loved ones can celebrate another one.