I first learned about Joe Delaney from my new friend Randy Brew of Revolution Pictures who produced the ESPN 30 for 30 Short film about Joe which I encourage you to watch here. Joe represents the best of what every world-class human and athlete should embody.
In short, was an American football running back who played two seasons in the National Football League (NFL). In his two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, Delaney set four franchise records that would stand for more than twenty years.
He was a two-time All-American athlete for the Northwestern State Demons football team, as well as a track and fieldstar. Delaney played two seasons with the Chiefs and was chosen as the AFC Rookie of the Year in 1981 by United Press International.
Delaney died on June 29, 1983 while attempting to rescue three children from drowning in a pond in Monroe in northeastern Louisiana. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Citizen’s Medal from U.S. President Ronald W. Reagan. While not officially retired, his jersey number while playing for the Chiefs, #37, has not been worn since his death.