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Remembering Joe Delaney, 34 years later

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It’s Joe Delaney day. On this day 34 years ago, Chiefs RB Joe Delaney gave his life trying to save three kids from drowning in Louisiana. We pause to remember what a real hero looks like.

I hope you’re already familiar with Delaney. The top story to read if you’re not is Frank Deford’s piece in Sports Illustrated from 1983.

There was a huge hole there, carved out of the earth some time ago. The hole had filled with water, and three boys waded in. They didn't know it, but a short way out the bottom dropped off precipitously, and suddenly the boys were in over their heads and thrashing and screaming. There were all sorts of people around, but only Joe dashed to the pond. There was a little boy there. "Can you swim?" he asked Joe.

"I can't swim good," Joe said, "but I've got to save those kids. If I don't come up, get somebody." And he rushed into the water.

One boy fought his way back to the shallow part. The other two didn't. Neither did Joe Delaney, 24. He was hauled out a few minutes later, dead. He gave his own life trying to save three others.

The second piece to check out is the Chiefs 22-minute documentary on him. I’m watching that right now. They did such a good job with this.

The third piece is this 30 for 30 short that ESPN did.

Please check those out today and remember Joe Delaney.