They had two different styles carrying the ball. Barry Sanders ran around people; Earl Campbell ran through them.
They also had two different lives after football. Sanders retired early long before his body burned out; Campbell wasn’t as fortunate. It is stunning to see the one-time beast in a football uniform struggle to walk.
The careers and lives of both legends are examined in two new documentaries. Still Standing: The Earl Campbell Story, produced by Ross Greenburg, airs tonight at 11 p.m. (ET) on NBC Network. Wednesday, Sanders is the latest subject of A Football Life on NFL Network at 8 p.m. ET.
Here’s the rundown on both films. Highly recommended.
NBC Sports Network presents Still Standing: The Earl Campbell Story, a riveting documentary about one of the greatest running backs
Alex Karras died this morning. The headline in this Chicago Tribune obit read: “Actor, also starred in NFL.”
Obviously, the headline writer was too young to remember what a great player Karras was for the Detroit Lions. He helped define that generation of players in the 60s.
However, when it comes to being an actor, Karras made his debut in Paper Lion, the 1968 film in which George Plimpton attempted to play quarterback for the Lions. Bonus points for knowing Alan Alda played Plimpton.
Here’s a clip. Karras appears at the 18:50 mark. He jokes about being a woman with “big Charlies” and has a couple politically correct jokes about Hitler. It was a long way from Webster.
Besides acting, Karras replaced Don Meredith in ABC’s Monday Night Football booth in 1974.