(Part 3 of 4 with Jack Kelly)
In sports, it doesn’t matter what the critics say about you. What matters most is the guys in the locker room. The ones you team up with every day for practice and the games.
Bill Kahaly, a neighborhood guy and teammate of Jack’s with Farrell’s talks about time spent with the excellent pass rusher from seventh avenue:
The first thing I would like to mention is what a good person he is as well as a good friend. The first time I got to meet Jack was through Farrell’s football. He was one the guys from seventh avenue. Jack along with Billy Carroll, Mike Coyne, Jimmy Hom,Tommy Troeller, and Charlie Cummings were all joining the team. All solid guys.
Now as far as Jack’s football ability; You’ve seen Clark Kent go into the phone booth and you’ve seen Popeye eat his spinach, well it was nothing like that. Jackie was not the fastest nor the quickest or even the strongest on the field. Every team would always want a guy on their squad like Jack Kelly. For one thing he had as much spirit and heart that you could ever hope for in a player and teammate. He loved the game and it showed in his behavior both on and off field. Not only did he enjoy playing at Farragut Park, he was somewhat of a historian regarding the league too.
Whenever anyone had a question pertaining to a particular game or another team they went to Jackie for the answer. Oh yeah by the way, Jack played defensive line and whenever he would get a sack you never saw a bigger smile.
We all have memorable moments in sports. Despite having many memories down Farragut, I tried to get Jack to give me his most memorable.
Container Diaries: Jack, which play or game stands out most in your memory (excluding the championship game for McBears, beating Farrell’s.
Jack Kelly: It was 1978 and Farrell’s was playing Skee’s in the playoffs. The game ended in a 0-0 tie.
There was no sudden death. Just a 15 minute overtime with a running clock. We scored a touchdown with a few minutes left and for the conversion John (Devaney) called for a trick play which we called ‘Fruit Loops’. We practiced it all season long and it worked; we ran it in for the two point conversion.
It turned out to be the game winner because Skee’s immediately drove the field and scored a touchdown. With no time left on the clock we stopped the two point conversion winning the game, 8-6.
It was crazy; two teams held scoreless for an entire game then with only a few minutes left in overtime 14 points is scored!