At 84, NFL timekeeper and kidney recipient Jim Ely still keeping pace

Star-Telegram | Art Garcia

Jim Ely talks about his long and honored career in sports as a timekeeper for the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys and the Big 12 college football conference.

Given the choice between lunch with Ann-Margret or receiving the news that a donor kidney had been found, Jim Ely can’t choose which was better.

“It was elation on both sides,” said Ely, an 84-year-old NFL timekeeper.

Luckily, he’s had both.

Ely’s life sounds as if it was written on the pages of a Dan Jenkins novel. Movies with Al Pacino and Mark Wahlberg, commercials with Tony Romo and Cam Newton, a day job that took him all over the world officiating sports and hall of fame inductions tell only part of the story.

Ely has another chapter to share. After his kidney transplant less than a year ago at UT Southwestern Medical Center, his mission is to spread a message of hope and perseverance. Continue reading

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