Powered by:
as known from New York Timesas known from USA Todayas known from yahoo!
VA
Contains commercial content
The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Joe Delany: A Real life Kansas City Hero

Joe Delany: A Real life Kansas City Hero

Joe Delany a True hero!
Publish Date: 07/01/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Joe Delaney was born  on October 30, 1958, and attended Haughton High School in Bossier Parish in northwestern Louisiana. Discouraged by his father from pursuing his dreams of playing football, Delaney became the starting wide receiver by his junior year at Haughton. Major Division I schools that scouted him included Grambling State, Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana State.

Video: Joe Delaney Highlights | Kansas City Chiefs Legend

Joe Delaney Highlights | Kansas City Chiefs Legend

Delaney ended up playing for Division I-AA’s Northwestern State Demons from 1977 to 1980. After telling his coach of his willingness to do anything to play football at the collegiate level, Delaney switched to the running back position. He went on to be an All-American selection in 1979 and 1980. While at Northwestern State, Delaney met his future wife, Carolyn, and they had two children by his senior year.

On October 28, 1978, Delaney carried the ball 28 times and gained 299 yards for Northwestern State against Nicholls State University with 263 of the yards coming in the game’s second half. Delaney’s rushing stats in the second half of the game are still an NCAA record. In the same game, he scored four touchdowns, one of which was on a 90-yard run, as he led his team to a 28–18 victory.

Delaney finished his career at Northwestern State with 3,047 yards rushing, 31 touchdowns, and 188 points. In 1980, his senior season, he was ranked eighth in the nation in all-purpose rushing yards. On November 22, 1980 he played his last game at Northwestern State and the school retired his jersey, number 44, at halftime. Delaney was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997.

At Northwestern State, Delaney also starred in track. In high school, he ran the 100 yard dash in 9.4 seconds and was on the Northwestern State track and field team, which won the NCAA 400-meter relay in 1981. He holds the school 200 meter dash record with a time of 20.64 seconds.

Delaney was selected in the second round of the 1981 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. United Press International named him Rookie of the Year of the American Football Conference for the 1981 NFL season after he rushed for 1,121 yards, set four club records, and averaged 80.9 yards a game. Delaney’s effort helped propel the Chiefs to a 9–7 record, the team’s first winning season since 1973. In his rookie season, he was selected to the Pro Bowl after setting Chiefs records for most yards in a season (1,121), most yards in a game (193 vs. Houston), most consecutive 100-yard-plus games (three) and most 100-yard games in a season (five).

After coming off the bench to record 101 rushing yards in his initial NFL action at New England, he ran for 106 yards and registered 104 receiving yards in his first professional start against Oakland. In the Chiefs’ October 18, 1981 game against the Denver Broncos, Delaney broke loose for a 75-yard touchdown run, but an offside penalty caused the play to be restarted from five yards back. On the second play after the penalty, Delaney scored an 82-yard touchdown, the longest rushing play from scrimmage in the 1981 NFL season.

Video: Joe Delaney's Heroic Feat

Joe Delaney’s Heroic Feat

A strike by NFL players and an eye injury limited Delaney’s playing time in the 1982 NFL season. He underwent surgery to repair a detached retina, and only registered 380 rushing yards in the eight-game shortened season, which the Chiefs finished with a 3–6 record. Delaney averaged 4.6 yards per carry, 9.1 yards per reception, and registered 1,811 all-purpose yards during his career with three touchdowns.

Delaney had a lifelong history of helping others, and once paid for the funeral of a former teacher whose family could not afford a proper service. On June 29, 1983, Delaney, who was living in nearby Ruston, went with friends to Critter’s Creek, an amusement center at Chennault Park in Monroe, Louisiana. While reportedly discouraging swimming children from venturing too far out in a pond, Delaney dove in to save three children who were screaming for help, floundering in a water hole left by recent construction work. The water hole, which covered two acres and was 6 feet deep, was not intended for swimming but to add to the park’s aesthetics. Despite his inability to swim, Delaney nevertheless tried to rescue the children. One child managed to get out of the water without harm and another was taken to an emergency room where he later died; police recovered the body of Delaney and the remaining child. The amusement park has since been closed to the public.

Now, I gave you all the reasons Delany was a great football player; that’s easy. The big question here is why would a man that couldn’t swim jump in and try to save drowning kids. Joe Delany was a great football player and a great man because he had one of the biggest hearts of anybody you have ever met. Delany’s first concern in life was not for himself; it was for others. Too bad we can’t all be like that.

 Delaney’s name is commemorated at Arrowhead Stadium in the Kansas City Chiefs ring of honor.

Three thousand people attended Delaney’s burial and memorial service on July 4, 1983 which was held in the sweltering heat of the Haughton High School gymnasium. President Ronald Reagan honored Delaney with the Presidential Citizens Medal on July 15, and it was presented to Delaney’s family by Vice President George H. W. Bush. Reagan’s words were:

He made the ultimate sacrifice by placing the lives of three children above regard for his own safety. By the supreme example of courage and compassion, this brilliantly gifted young man left a spiritual legacy for his fellow Americans.

For the 1983 NFL season, the Chiefs honored Delaney by wearing a circular patch bearing a gold eagle and the number 37 on the upper-left chest of their uniforms. Haughton High School also made a park, Joe Delaney Park, in his memory. The NCAA posthumously awarded Delaney the NCAA Award of Valor in 1984.  Louisiana Governor Dave Treen presented the Louisiana State Civilian Bravery Award to Delaney’s family following his death.

Delaney’s heroism is honored through an award for one of the NFL’s best running backs who also demonstrates admirable character and unselfishness, traits that Delaney embodied. The award is given annually by ProFootballTalk.com.

Northwestern State’s football permanent team captains award, the Joe Delaney Memorial Leadership award, is named in his honor, as is the annual spring football game (“Delaney Bowl”) and a golf tournament that generates support for the athletic program. A permanent shrine honoring him sits under the home stands at Northwestern State’s Turpin Stadium and his number 44 jersey hangs in the football offices. In Virginia, the Delaney Athletic Conference took its name to honor his memory in the fall of 1983, and today 13 Virginia private high schools comprise the DAC.

A group of Chiefs fans in Kansas City formed the “37 Forever Foundation,” which works with the American Red Cross to provide swimming lessons for underprivileged children. The Kansas City Chiefs unofficially retired Delaney’s jersey number 37 following his death, and he was elected to the team’s Hall of Fame in 2004. His name is included in the Chiefs’ ring of honor at Arrowhead Stadium.

Video: Joe Delaney 1958-1983 Tribute | KC Chiefs Highlights

Joe Delaney 1958-1983 Tribute | KC Chiefs Highlights

Joe Delany was a tremendous football player. Unfortunately, he was taken so soon that we will never know how great he could have been. But, there can never be doubt what kind of man he was, and as a man, he was definitelyjd2 a hall of fame! The real shame is never knowing how great of a running back Delany could have been; the real shame is all of the people he would have helped had he lived.

Read Also
The Complexities of Bob Knight: The Greatest Coach of All-Time
  Bob Knight, born in 1940 and raised in Orrville, Ohio, was ...
Top 28 Indiana High School Basketball players of all time: Big O, Larry, Damon and more
This list is based solely on what these guys did in their ...
BetMGM Promo
Top 18 Greatest College Football Coaches of All-time
Current active coaches are not included in this list. That means don't ...
We got the Return of Celtic Pride Part I: How the 1983-84 Celtics returned to their heritage
The best bookmakers have now adjusted their odds for who will win ...
Esteban de Jesus, Roberto Duran y AIDS (1972-89)
Many of us dream of celebrity sports fame, but only cruel individuals ...
Grading every NFL team’s picks from the 2021 NFL Draft
Quickly, click away if you’re going to get upset by reading draft ...
Sam Teets 2021 NFL three-round predictive mock draft 6.0
This is a predictive NFL mock draft and my final of the ...
Ranking the top 200 players in the NFL ahead of the 2021 season
This list isn’t based solely on performances from the 2020 NFL season. ...
Sportsbook of the month
PointsBet - Get your Bonus Bet now!
-
Latest News
Devin Haney vs. Regis Prograis: Talking All That Jazz  
The back and forth between the fighters and ...
Top 10 NFL Play by Play Broadcasters of All Time
This list will be National Guys, so no ...
Top-10 Indiana High School Basketball Teams of All-Time
Of course, nothing was better than Hoosier Hysteria, ...
Our Latest YouTube Videos
Video: Indiana Basketball weekly W/Steve Risley: IU/Harvard Preview and UCONN and Louisville Recaps!
Indiana Basketball weekly W/Steve Risley: IU/Harvard Preview and UCONN and Louisville Recaps!
Video: #NFC East Clash - #Eagles at #Cowboys
#NFC East Clash - #Eagles at #Cowboys
Video: NFL *Betting* Show*: Week 14 Picking all games against the spread!
NFL *Betting* Show*: Week 14 Picking all games against the spread!
Betting Tips
12/09/2023 - 3:00 pm
Gillett Stadium
Tip:
Navy to Cover
3.00
FanDuel
12/07/2023 - 8:15 pm
Acrisure
Tip:
Patriots to Cover
6.00
FanDuel
12/05/2023 - 9:00 pm
Chrysler
Tip:
Indiana to Cover
7.50
FanDuel
Sportsbook of the month
PointsBet - Get your Bonus Bet now!
-
Top Betting Sites
Top Betting Bonuses
DraftKings
DraftKings
DraftKings Review
4.6/5
FanDuel
FanDuel
FanDuel Review
4.6/5
BetMGM
BetMGM
BetMGM Review
4.5/5
Bet365
Bet365
Bet365 Review
4.5/5
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Review
4.5/5
DraftKings
DraftKings Bonus
Bet $5 Get $150 Instantly
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
FanDuel
FanDuel Bonus
Bet $5 Get $150 in Bonus Bets
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
BetMGM
BetMGM Bonus
up to $1,500 back in Bonus Bets
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Bet365
Bet365 Bonus
$1000 in Bonus Bets
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Place your first cash bet up to $1,000, and if the bet loses, you will have your wager refunded in Bonus Bets. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
Caesars
Caesars Bonus
100% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Our Team
Mike GoodpasterAuthor IconJosh SchwartzSamuel TeetsSimon Briffa
+10
Mike Goodpaster
Mike Goodpaster
Chief Editor
Author Icon
Christopher Carlson
Content Writer
Josh Schwartz
Josh Schwartz
Editor
Samuel Teets
Samuel Teets
US Sports Veteran
Simon Briffa
Simon Briffa
Sports Editor
Mark Lewis
Mark Lewis
Editor
Chris Benedict
Chris Benedict
Editor
Author Icon
Daniel Kornhauser
Author
John Raspanti
John Raspanti
Author
Author Icon
Malik Zorrok
Author
Author Icon
Buddy Gibbs
Author
Brian Coburn
Brian Coburn
Author
aukje
aukje
Author
Peter Bonahoom
Peter Bonahoom
Author
berina
berina
Author
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....

Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

21+NCPG
Move to Top
Close
Players accepted in the US US Flag
Stake.us Exclusive Bonus
$25 No Deposit + 250,000 Gold Coins + 5% Rakeback
Promo Code
Copy
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
Payment Methods
Bitcoin
Litecoin
Ethereum
Dogecoin
Highlights
  • Exclusive promo code: TGTSOCIAL
  • Play Plinko, Hilo, Crash and more!
  • Get Stake Cash bonuses every day!
Stake Originals
Dice
Crash
Plinko
Mines
×
Your Promo Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site