Doug Marrone's wife Helen Marrone matched his rigid requirements for a mate, which he wrote down on a bar napkin and passed around a large group that he'd been hanging out with. Doug apparently was in the habit of writing out his strategies for how to coach players, and I guess finding a future wife was no different-- just write out the requirements and send it along. So one of the girls in the group at the bar recommended a friend she knew, and that was Helen.
Helen had just graduated Boston College, and the girl at the bar who recommended her was her roommate from school. Helen was on her way to becoming a lawyer in Memphis, but they agreed to meet in her hometown of Nashville for a first date. Doug was on his way down to Atlanta to take a coaching job at Georgia Tech. And so it was that Helen Connelly, now Doug's wife, became Helen Marrone. It's that easy, single people. Write down your requirements and pass them around a table of people drinking beer, and all your hopes for a suitable soulmate shall be answered.
In fact, Doug's wife Helen was roommates with none other than Colleen O'Brien, wife of Bill O'Brien, the head coach of the Houston Texans. Both Bill and Doug ended up as coaches at Georgia Tech, and everybody's still good friends to this day. They go on camping trips and boating outings and that kind of stuff. Helen is actually the daughter of a well-respected head coach of Middle Tennessee State named Boots Donnelly. The guy was actually inducted into the college football hall of fame last year. So basically all of these people have been involved with coaching in some way for a long time. These are coaching folks, and Helen and Doug are planted solidly in their comfort zone.
Fred Jackson's wife Danielle Jackson currently holds the record for most pictures uploaded of children. This is a lady who likes to take pictures of her kids. She and Fred have four of them, and it's clear she's very much into the being-a-mother thing. It also looks like she's free and clear of any baby mama drama from Fred. No alimony or child support on the side.
Fred himself is looking like a nice pickup in fantasy football land. I'm not sure if all the teams have already been decided (since I myself do not partake in the rabbit hole that is fantasy football) but I do know that Fred and CJ Spiller combine for a powerful and run-centric offense. Fred's wife Danielle seems to really be digging life with her little ones while Fred pounds the turf. She's also really happy about the contract extension he's signed. It's going to keep him on the Bills for another couple years and pay some hefty diaper fees since they've just popped out a new kid. Danielle took a picture of Fred with the kids hanging out reading the contract extension just before he signed it.
Since Fred's the oldest running back in the NFL, he'll be considering upping his television game pretty soon. He already has The Fred Jackson Show, a local Buffalo football program. I've watched some of it. It's pretty low-key but Fred does a decent job of hosting it. He doesn't have the slick late night polish of someone like Jimmy Kimmel, but the show serves it's purpose: which is to give the Buffalo football fans some extra stuff to watch and think about. I kind of wonder if wife Danielle has appeared on the show. I really doubt it, but I bet she's been in the audience before. Fred may be working up to an ESPN analyst gig.
"Watching the Syracuse game with daddy - he's my buddy! Love him so much!! #daddysgirl #prayersforjk #Kellytough,"
"So thankful that he was up for a little walk today!! God is good!!!! And He HEALS!!!! #prayersforjk #Kellytough #daddysgirl."
UPDATE 03/26/2014 After updates yesterday indicating that Kelly was likely scheduled for surgery to help treat a recurrence of cancer, Jim Kelly's wife Jill Kelly posted to her Facebook page that surgery was no longer the best option at this time.
At this point and time surgery is not the best option for Jim. The cancer is in areas that surgery cannot successfully eradicate. - Jill Kelly, Facebook, 03/26/2014
Doctor's have called Kelly's cancer treatable and curable, while currently working to find a solution to manage pain and discomfort. The Hall of Famer is scheduled to undergo 5 or 6 rounds of chemotherapy and reevaluate his condition after that time.
With the passing of Bills founder and owner Ralph Wilson, Tuesday March 25 was a tough day for the Buffalo Bills family.
On the same day that Wilson passed away, Jim Kelly's wife Jill Kelly reported that the Hall of Fame quarterback's cancer has returned aggressively and is starting to spread. After surgery in June, 2013 to remove cancerous cells from his jaw, the cancer has returned. Kelly will undergo surgery on his jaw again, and Kelly's wife indicated through Instagram that it is scheduled for Thursday.
The incredible range of emotions experienced not only by those battling the disease, but also by those close to the people battling the disease can be difficult to express. Jill Kelly wrote a beautiful entry to her blog recounting a beautiful story about the grace humanity can provide in the moments we may otherwise be at our worst.
Jim and Jill Kelly are parents to three children - daughters Erin and Camryn, as well as son Hunter Kelly. Hunter was diagnosed with a condition called Krabbe disease, which normally carries a life expectancy of three years. After being born in 1997, Hunter passed away in 2005, causing Kelly to focus much of his retirement career on his non-profit foundation Hunter's Hope. The foundation helps to raise awareness for the condition, while also establishing an annual Hunter's Day of Hope on February 14, both Jim and Hunter's birthday. Fighting back tears during his Hall of Fame induction speech in 2002, Jim addressed his son:
It's been written that the trademark of my career was toughness. The toughest person I ever met in my life was my hero, my soldier, my son, Hunter. I love you, buddy."
Jim Kelly's daughter, Erin Kelly, saw a couple of her Instagram pictures go viral this week, as she beautifully shared poetic pictures of her weekend with the quarterback in the hospital. On Saturday, she posted a picture watching TV in bed with her father, saying: "Watching the Syracuse game with daddy - he's my buddy! Love him so much!! #daddysgirl #prayersforjk #Kellytough," Erin shared progress Sunday saying: "So thankful that he was up for a little walk today!! God is good!!!! And He HEALS!!!! #prayersforjk #Kellytough #daddysgirl."
As trite and overused as it can be, we'll say it again. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Kelly family.