July 28 will be a big day for Ted Karras. Not only will he and the rest of the New England Patriots open their 2021 training camp, he also is slated to be honored by the Order of AHEPA, the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association.
As was announced earlier this month, Karras is this year’s recipient of the Harry Agganis Most Outstanding Athlete Award.
“I am immensely proud and emotional about this honor,” Karras said.
“I am aware of the significance of Harry Agganis and the great work the Order of AHEPA has done for so many. The Karras family is particularly grateful for AHEPA’s tremendous advocacy that resulted in the Karras family football patriarch, my great-uncle Alex, finally being given his due, being selected to the Pro-Football Hall of Fame after many years of being denied that well-deserved honor.”
Karras is the fifth member of his family to play in the NFL, joining his father, grandfather and two great uncles — among them Hall of Famer Alex Karras. The 28-year-old will probably not make it to Canton as an enshrinee, but he has had a successful career in his own right.
A sixth-round selection by the Patriots in the 2016 draft, Karras has appeared in 86 games over the course of his career. While serving mostly as a backup, he also has a combined 37 starts on his résumé between stints in New England (2016-19) and Miami (2020). Along the way, he won two Super Bowl rings.
Following a one-year stint with the Dolphins, Karras returned to the Patriots earlier this offseason.
“It’s cool to keep the legacy going. Such a big part of my life has been football. Looking at family members my whole life and hearing their stories of playing in the NFL, it’s something I always wanted to do,” Karras told Angelique Fiske of Patriots.com.
“I want to make my family proud for sure, and this is something that can quantify that. It’s a very special award from a very illustrious institution and one with a very big community. The Greek community is obviously big. This is a huge organization and to be involved with them is enough. Then to be recognized for my family with our family name, I’m very honored to continue that and to carry the flag.”
The award itself is named after Harry Agganis, a multi-sport star at Boston University who later served as the Red Sox’s first baseman. A Massachusetts native, Agganis passed away suddenly during the 1955 season because of a pulmonary embolism. He was just 26 years old, but his legacy as “The Golden Greek” lives on to this day.
Karras will now become a part of this.
“[W]ith the Order of AHEPA, it’s a great pleasure of mine to continue kind of the Greek legacy too. My great grandfather came over from Greece in the early 1900s. We’ve always been in athletics since. I feel very blessed to be still playing football just in general. It’s been the realization of a lot of my life goals. I still have more to accomplish, but this has been great.”