Remembering former NFL running back Joe Delaney 31 years later

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Delaney sacrificed his life in an attempt to rescue three strangers.

With the NFL in its slow season, today feels like a good opportunity to remember one of the game's greatest heroes.

But it wasn't because of what he did on the gridiron. His career was short, lasting just two seasons. But Joe Delaney of the Kansas City Chiefs became a hero for what he chose to do in a moment of crisis. On June 29, 1983, Delaney saw three children that began to struggle swimming in a man-made water hole at Chennault Park in Monroe, La.

Knowing that he wasn't that great of a swimmer and that he'd be risking his own life, Delaney decided to do what he could to save the kids. He swam out there and was able to save one of the children. Devastatingly so, the other two children, and Delaney, would lose their lives that day. Selflessly, Delaney did everything in his power to help when he otherwise could have waited for someone else to react first.

Delaney was only 24 years old when he died. He left behind a wife and three daughters.

Delaney was a small back at 5-10, 184 pounds. But as a rookie with the Chiefs in 1981, he ran for 1,121 yards and three touchdowns.

But it was clear his heart was as big as his play on the field. Delaney's actions that day should never be forgotten.

If you have the time, definitely check out this 22-minute short film the Chiefs organization produced on Delaney.


X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Baltimore Beatdown

You must be a member of Baltimore Beatdown to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Baltimore Beatdown. You should read them.

Join Baltimore Beatdown

You must be a member of Baltimore Beatdown to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Baltimore Beatdown. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker