Former Bills quarterback and Hall of Famer Jim Kelly will receive ESPN’s Jimmy V Award at ESPN’s ESPY Awards in Los Angeles. Adam Schefter helped give the news on Twitter.
Will become official later today: The Jimmy V award at the ESPYS on July will be given to Hall-of-Fame QB Jim Kelly.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 4, 2018
Kelly, who is battling his third bought of cancer, says that he hopes he will be able to attend the event. The Jimmy V Award was created by the Jimmy V Foundation in 2007. The foundation was created to honor former N.C. State men’s basketball coach Jimmy Valvano. Valvano famously addresses the audience at the first ESPY in 1993 with the words:
“Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.”
Kelly underwent surgery for cancer in his jaw in 2013 and had additional treatment and surgery on nasal cavities in 2014. He was declared cancer-free in 2016 but released earlier in the year that his cancer had returned. Kelly underwent a 12-hour procedure in late March.
Kelly had an outstanding career in Buffalo. He was selected by the Bills in the 1983 NFL Draft, but he did not want to play for Buffalo and instead decided to move to the United States Football League and play for the Houston Gamblers. When the USFL folded, Kelly finally joined the Bills and set off on a Hall of Fame career.
Kelly helped revolutionize the “no huddle” style of offense. Instead of going into the huddle to pick their next play and bring in substitutes, the Bills would simply line up and run the next play. The idea was to create confusion and a breakdown of communication within the defense. Kelly mastered this style of offense and used it to help lead the Bills to four straight Super Bowls. Unfortunately for Kelly and all Buffalo fans, the Bills never won any of those four Super Bowls.
Giving Kelly the Jimmy V Award was a good decision by the committee that decides who receives the award. Kelly will receive the award on July 18.