A Hero’s Tale Continues … Morning Cup O’Chiefs

Chiefs TE Leonard Pope and six-year old Bryson Ross got a chance to meet again on Sunday in Americus, Georgia. It was two weeks ago that Pope dove into a swimming pool and saved Ross from drowning. Sunday was a thank you moment planned by Bryson and his mother. (Photo from the Albany Herald.)


It’s the gift that keeps on giving. At a time and place where the world of the NFL is full of the talk of greed as the owners and players try to pluck their golden goose without killing it, Leonard Pope has provided an escape.

Back on June 11, the Chiefs tight end saved the life of six-year old Brayson Ross, diving into a swimming pool and pulling the youngster off the bottom. It all happened in Pope’s hometown of Americus, Georgia.

The heroics have made Pope a national figure, as he’s told his story on national television and to reporters in all four corners of the country.

But there was one more person that wanted to talk with him. That was Brayson Ross. So on Sunday in Americus, Pope met with Bryson and his mother Anne Moore.


The moment went down at the Sumter Regional Hospital’s Wellness Center, a cause that Pope has done charitable work for in the past. Anne Moore presented her new friend with a plaque that carried a message of thanks from her son.

“It’s a real hot topic right now, but it’s really kind of heartwarming just to see Anne and Bryson again,” Pope was quoted as saying by the Albany Herald newspaper. “It was a great gift to stand at the microphone today.”

While the attention was on him, Pope tried to turn the attention to his new young friend.

“He’s the star,” Pope said. “He’s the star. I really want Bryson to look at it as a chance for him to learn how to swim. He can tell his friends and hopefully the message gets to young kids to be able to learn how to swim at an early age.”

Pope plans to use his foundation – the Creating Hope and Making Progress (CHAMP) Foundation – to begin making sure the kids of Americus learn how to swim. It’s all part of the message he’s tried to set with the foundation, where he’s highlighted family, leadership, education and fitness for children.

“I want to try to incorporate swimming lessons and hopefully in the future, I can even sponsor a couple of kids to be able to have swimming lessons and just to be able to get the message out that way.”


As Pope receives the attention he deserves for saving a young life, it comes in the same week as one of the most tragic days in Chiefs history.

Coming up on Wednesday it will be 28 years since Joe Delaney died in a Louisiana construction pond trying to save three youngsters who were drowning. One young man survived, another was pulled from the pond but died at the hospital. The bodies of the third youngster and Delaney were recovered from the water.

It was on July 4th that Delaney’s funeral was held in the gymnasium at Haughton High School in the sleep little town of Haughton, Louisiana. That was home for Delaney. His final resting place is just outside the town, in a cemetery surrounded by tall, skinny pine trees.

Leonard Pope had not even been born yet when Joe Delaney died, arriving just more than two months later. But despite the 28-year span between them, Pope and Delaney are now linked by their heroics and concern for their fellow man.

Here’s what we posted last year on Joe Delaney. His sacrifice should never be forgotten.

2 Responses to “A Hero’s Tale Continues … Morning Cup O’Chiefs”

  • June 27, 2011  - bhive01 says:

    It sure is a nice story to have during all this other crap.

  • June 28, 2011  - txchief says:

    Both of these fine men are heroes. I happy that Mr. Pope’s story didn’t end in the same tragic way that befell Joe Delaney and the third youngster that didn’t make it out of the pond.

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