Tragedy struck the Cincinnati football program last weekend when a car accident killed offensive lineman Ben Flick and injured wide receivers, Mark Barr and Javon Harrison. Cincinnati is off this weekend but there will be a tribute to pay tribute to Flick and the injured players on the football field this weekend. Western Michigan will wear a Cincinnati logo on their helmets, below the standard bronco logo.
A quick rendition of the design was sent out via email and on Twitter by University of Cincinnati president Santa Ono.
The helmet tribute is obviously a very classy move, especially since there is little if anything connecting the two schools located 309 miles apart and competing in different conferences. The two football programs have only faced each other three times dating back to 1947, according to GridironHistory.com. None of the three players involved in the accident are from the state of Michigan either. Flick and Harrison are Ohio natives and Barr is from Florida.
So what was it that led Western Michigan to pay such a tribute for a school with virtually no connections to Cincinnati? It all stems back to the whole “Row the Boat” mentality instituted by new head coach P.J. Fleck. Fleck offered this brief statement through an email exchange Thursday evening;
“Simply, it’s the right thing to do. Losing a child is a haunting and unthinkable aspect of life. The Row the Boat belief we have in this program is a lifestyle and a way of life to help others through adversity. We want Coach [Tommy] Tuberville, the families involved and all of Bearcat Nation to know we are rowing for them.”
Photo credit: Western Michigan Athletics