The New Yorker asks MoDOT to rename part of I-435 after the Chiefs player Joe Delaney
KANSAS CITY, Mon. – Joe Delany only played two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.
However, the story of his heroic death lived on in a man who has never lived in Kansas City, Missouri.
Tens of thousands of Chiefs fans travel along I-435, which leads to Arrowhead Stadium.
Now Adam Jassey has enough signatures for the Missouri Department of Transportation to name them after Delaney.
“For those of you who don’t know who Joe Delaney is – that’s a big part of what it’s about, he’s largely been forgotten,” Jassey said.
Jassey was born and raised in Long Island, New York. However, his parents moved to Kansas City in the 1960s so his father could attend medical school.
The Jasseys loved Kansas City so much they wanted to take some home with them, and raised their kids in New York City as die-hard Kansas City sports fans.
Courtesy Adam Jassey
“It was great, it’s like a badge of honor,” said Jassey. “I passed it on to my son Brett, who is now a third generation Kansas City fan in New York and is named after George Brett.”
Courtesy Adam Jassey
Jassey’s true passion for the Chiefs began in 1981 when Delaney was drafted in the second round and the team had their first winning season in years.
Courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs
1981 Kansas City Chiefs
“He ran 1,000 yards, he did the Pro Bowl, and it was cause for excitement that he was going to turn the Chiefs fortune on,” Jassey said.
Immediately Delaney became 9-year-old Jassey’s favorite player in the Chiefs.
When he learned that Delaney died tragically yet heroically in Louisiana in 1983, he stayed with him forever, culminating in making sure his legacy lives on in the city that first introduced him to number 37.
“I was devastated because it was the loss of my favorite player in the Chiefs,” said Jassey. “As I got older and I realized the sacrifice he was making to save these kids from drowning and he didn’t even know how to swim and he was still going into these waters to try that, kids, he didn’t even know, and the only person in this park who made that decision just made me realize what a selfless hero he is, and it’s the most heroic thing I’ve ever seen when a person, an athlete, or something else who has ever done this. “”
Delaney was married to his wife, Carolyn, and had three young girls at the time.
“We just grew up with childhood friends who were in high school and married right out of high school. I think Joe was just the love of my life, I would never get married again, and I know I would never love anyone like I loved him Joe, “said Delany’s wife Carolyn.
Courtesy of the Delaney family
“Just warm my heart to make someone look up to Joe and think of him now, and he was her hero then and now [is] her hero today, “said Carolyn.” It’s just a great feeling to know that kids that age are – they remember their heroes and things like that, and Joe was one of them among all the races you picked for Joe Delaney. “
According to MODOT, the petition to rename route I-435 from exit 66 to 63C has more than enough signatures to be considered.
The Joe Delaney Memorial Highway only needs 100 signatures to be realized.
Jackson, Johnson, Ray, Clay, Cass, or Lafayette county residents are eligible.
Help @MoDOT_KC honor a @Chiefs legend!
Just send your name, address, state and your entered signature to [email protected] pic.twitter.com/H8tdbUv6yp
– Joe Delaney Memorial Highway Project (@ClayWendler) February 25, 2021
Jassey sent the motion Wednesday afternoon with legislative sponsorship from Missouri Rep. Yolanda Young.
During the pandemic, 41 Action News aims to highlight people, organizations and businesses that are helping the community. Use #WeSeeYouKSHB on social media to share these stories.