No Ordinary Joe

The sudden tragic heroic Death of a Promising Football player in Joe Delaney

Joe Delaney was a promising running back of the Kansas City Chiefs. He was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1981 NFL drafted out of Northwestern State of Louisiana and immediately made a huge impact for the Chiefs when he rushed for 1,121 yards and set a club record. Delaney’s effort helped the team to its first winning season since 1973 when they finished 9-7 and earned him Rookie of the Year of the American Football Conference for 1981. However, in 1982 Delaney playing time was limited because of the NFL players strike season and an eye injury limited his playing time throughout the season. So, On June 29th, 1983 Joe Delaney was spending the off season in his small hometown of Monroe Louisiana hanging out with his friends at an amusement part. Suddenly, Joe and several people heard three children screaming at a small pond near the amusement park.  Despite not knowing how to swim Joe attempted to save the three children from drowning. This heroic moment would have a tragic ending to this story. While he managed to save one without harm the child other two including Joe himself drowned to their deaths, Joe was only 25 years old.  So why would a promising young football player risk and sacrifice his life by trying to save others while not knowing how to swim? In the scriptures it reads

(Luke 9:23) Jesus talking “To every one of his disciples, if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”  

That unfortunate day he picked up his cross, in faith two save the three children from drowning and saving one and deny himself as he perished in doing so. There are times that we are called to put our lives on the line to save another life. Sadly, in doing so we end up losing our own lives even though we may have everything to lose such as family, friends or a sports career. Joe Delaney was willing to do that on fateful June 29th, 1983 because he was willing to save others. We may never know what kind of a football career Joe would had if he would had survived. But because of his effort President Ronald Reagan honored him with the Presidential Citizens Medal and it was presented to Joe’s family by Vice President George H.W. Bush. In 2004 Delaney was elected to the clubs Hall of Fame in 2004 and his name is included in the Chiefs ring of honor and Arrowhead Stadium. Joe Delaney may not have been Pat Tillman the former Defensive Back of the Arizona Cardinals who died in combat in Afghanistan, but throughout much of his life Joe had a long history of helping friends and neighbors in his hometown. He was a man of faith and did the work by helping others which is why Joe Delaney was No Ordinary Joe.


One thought on “No Ordinary Joe

  1. Pingback: No Ordinary Joe — 1974A – Interstate 70 Sports Media

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