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Gridiron Classic: Networking for a Cause
Ed Delaney usually is identified as the younger brother of actress Kim Delaney. More recently has has been labeled the father of Eddie Delaney, born without a left hand but a contributor as a defensive end on the University at Albany football team.
What the elder Delaney should be known for are his tireless efforts not only to get UAlbany’s Gridiron Classic football game against Jacksonville on Saturday televised, but his ability to turn the telecast into a fundraiser for juvenile diabetes, which afflicts his son.
Delaney, 47, vice president of operations for the YES Network, got the air time and production costs donated for the telecast from University Field. Commercial time will be given to corporate partners helping with the venture — which includes an elaborate postgame dinner for players of both teams and patrons — along with public service announcements on juvenile diabetes.
“I picked the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation for obvious reasons, my son being a diabetic,” Delaney said, “and I just went to friends and said, ‘I’m trying to put together this event for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, can you donate your services?’ “
YES is givng the game free air time. Metrovision donated the satellite truck and uplink, SES Americom the satellite time and Game Creek Video a super slo-mo camera. Several participants, including UAlbany coach Bob Ford and defensive tackle Tom Pandolf, will wear microphones.
“We’re covering this game like it’s a pro game.” Delaney said.
It’s a pretty remarkable venture for something Delaney has had barely a week to assemble.
“The first offer letter went out on Thanksgiving morning,” Delaney said. “It literally was an informal e-mail to my friends in the industry, done on a Blackberry from a Starbuck’s on Thanksgiving morning. That’s how it got started. We don’t have a lot of time, so we’re just doing the best we can. The bottom line is we will raise money. I don’t know how much.”
Delaney’s son is a redshirt freshman who had been starting since Oct. 11 after Tony Sparano — son of the Miami Dolphins’ head coach — broke his arm against Duquesne. Sparano returns to the starting lineup against Jacksonville.
That won’t matter to the elder Delaney, who will be in his accustomed spot Saturday.
“I won’t even be thinking about television, I can assure you,” Delaney said. “I haven’t missed a game all year. They’ve been traveling all over — Delaware, two times to Pittsburgh. I’m pretty intense. I feel like I’m playing in the game. That’s how much I enjoy it.”
Thanks to Delaney’s efforts, a lot more people will be able to enjoy the game Saturday.
Networking for a cause
By Pete Dougherty, The Albany Times-Union (NY)