The man whose gave his life 38 years ago on Tuesday has received another honor commemorating his sacrifice.
Via Vahe Gregorian of the Kansas City Star, the Missouri Department of Transportation unveiled the Joe Delaney Memorial Highway on Tuesday. The road runs along Interstate 435, near the Truman Sports Complex, site of Arrowhead Stadium.
Adam Jassey pushed for the naming of the road for Delaney. Jassey was nine years old when Delaney drowned trying to save three children, and Jassey has tried in various ways to honor Delaney’s memory. The news that a memorial to Delaney would be placed at the site of his death in Louisiana spurred Jassey to do more, with the Joe Delaney Memorial Highway becoming the product of Jassey’s work.
It’s a fitting tribute, one that’s way overdue. More should be done to recognize the sacrifice Delaney made, so that more will be aware of what he did. Here’s hoping the NFL and/or the Pro Football Hall of Fame will find a way to properly remember Delaney, either through the crafting of an award in his name or some other permanent and/or recurring reminder to football fans now and in the future of Delaney’s heroism.
In the NFL, every award that bears someone’s name requires no explanation as to who the person is and why the honor was deserved. For Delaney, who spent only two years in the NFL, people need to hear his name before they can ever learn his story. HIs name needs to be every bit as recognizable among football fans as Walter Payton and Vince Lombardi.