Wide receiver Jake Kumerow certainly didn’t ask to be thrown into the ongoing war between the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers but his role in the saga is absolutely fascinating. Now with the Buffalo Bills, Kumerow, who played the final three years of his college football career at Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater, spent two seasons in Green Bay and caught 20 passes for 322 yards and two touchdowns.
But less than 24 hours after Rodgers publicly praised him just ahead of the 2020 season, Kumerow was cut, a move that didn’t sit well with the three-time NFL MVP. Rodgers apparently took such offense to it that it’s being seen as one of the big reasons why he refuses to ever play another snap for the Packers. Again, fascinating.
But seeing as how that story has been covered from just about every angle imaginable, we wanted to take a different route today that’s even more fascinating, that being the story of Kumerow’s family tree. We’re talking a great-grandfather who was a mob boss in Chicago, a grandfather, great-uncle, and father that all played in the NFL, and Joey and Nick Bosa.
Intrigued? Let’s dive in, shall we?
Jake Kumerow’s great-grandfather was a Chicago mob boss
Kumerow’s great-grandfather, Tony Accardo, was one of the most notorious mobsters in history and was famously known as both “Joe Batters” and “Big Tuna.” It’d be easy to make a joke about The Office here but we’ll refrain.
The “Joe Batters” moniker was said to be given to Accardo by Al Capone, with whom he worked closely for years, and stemmed from him murdering multiple mobsters who’d betrayed the famed Chicago Outfit with a baseball bat.
Accardo rose through the ranks of the Outfit over the years, developing a number of profitable rackets, including loansharking, gambling, extortion, and bookmaking. He essentially became the co-boss of the Outfit in the 1940s and led the organization’s expansion to Las Vegas by getting into the slot and vending machine business, even taking influence away from the famed Five Families of New York.
In the late 1950s, Accardo was being investigated by the IRS and gave up the day-to-day duties of being the boss while still retaining considerable authority as the Outfit’s consigliere until becoming the organization’s ultimate authority figure in the early 1970s.
Accardo died in 1992 at the age of 86 and despite all of his ties to organized crime and an arrest record that dated back to 1922, he never spent a single night in jail.
His grandfather, great-uncle, and father all played in the NFL
Accardo had two daughters, Linda and Marie, the latter of whom married Palmer Pyle (who would be Jake Kumerow’s grandfather), an offensive lineman who played six NFL seasons, four with the Baltimore Colts and one each with the Minnesota Vikings and Oakland Raiders.
His brother, Mike (who would be Kumerow’s great-uncle), played center for the Chicago Bears for nine seasons, helping the team to an NFL title in 1963, the same year he was selected to his only Pro Bowl, and was named one of the 100 greatest players in franchise history in 2019.
Palmer and Marie had two children, Eric and Cheryl, but when the couple divorced, Marie married former Chicago union boss Ernest Kumerow, who adopted Eric and Cheryl and raised them as his own. Eric went on to become a high school All-American quarterback and then took his talents to Ohio State, where he transitioned to defense and won 1986 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year.
He was taken in the first round of the 1988 NFL draft with the 16th overall pick by Miami and played three seasons with the Dolphins, recording five sacks in 42 games. Seen as a disappointment, the Fins gave up on him and he signed with the Bears in 1991 but never played a regular-season game in the Windy City as he tore his Achilles tendon and retired soon after. Jake was born the following February.
Kumerow is cousins with Nick and Joey Bosa
The year before the Dolphins took Eric Kumerow, they’d used the exact same 16th overall pick on Boston College defensive end John Bosa, who, like Kumerow, spent three seasons in Miami before fizzling out.
The two became friends and Kumerow introduced Bosa to his sister, Cheryl. In 1993, Cheryl and John were married (they’re now divorced) and later had two sons together, Joey and Nick, who both followed in their uncle Eric’s footsteps and became star defensive players at Ohio State.
Joey, the elder of the two, was taken with the third overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft by the Chargers while Nick was taken with the second pick in 2019 by the 49ers. Both won Defensive Rookie of the Year honors with Nick helping lead San Francisco to the Super Bowl in his first year. To get there, the Niners first had to get through the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game.
And who was on that roster? None other than Bosa’s cousin, Jake Kumerow. The Niners obviously took the victory and it proved to be Kumerow’s last official game in a Packers uniform.
See, we told you the family tree was fascinating.
Stats courtesy of Sports Reference