When many of us think of Jake MacNelly, we remember his sharp wit. Many of us also think about backyard football and wiffleball games at Rita’s house (a.k.a. MacNelly Outdoor Arena). Those weekend games were the perfect mix of competition, heckling, and good old fashioned fun.
Jake and Danny were all-time captains, constantly engaged in big brother/little brother competition, with their teams just along for the ride. And, it was always entertaining, but if Jake selected you to be on his team, it carried a lot of pressure (especially if you were one of Danny’s friends).
In football, it meant knowing a 100 page playbook (kept in Jake’s mind), with more formations and plays than anyone could possibly keep up with. And, if you didn’t run the play as Jake drew it up in the dirt, well you sure heard about it when you came back to the huddle. That’s right, huddle. Jake would huddle his team up after every play so he could mastermind the next brilliant play. Jake took backyard football (and wiffleball) where it had never been before.
We all have our memories and stories of Jake, and we all miss him. And, now the JMC is going to continue on how Jake would want it – the weird rules made up as we go, we’re all here to have fun and we’re playing wiffle ball because we’re too old to survive football like we used to play it.
We’re also here to use this excitement and energy to do some good in our community. To date, this small event has raised over $100,000 in Jake’s memory, to support Full Circle’s programs.