I can't remember any kind of sports promotion this ... deep, but then the Sandy Hook massacre is thankfully the exception: Beginning tonight, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers will wear their black third jerseys for all home games through Jan. 20, but that's not the extent of the visible mourning and tribute.
The names of the 20 child victims will be worn on the backs of the Bridgeport players in place of their normal nameplate. No Cizikas, no Nelson, no Niederreiter. In their place, Barden and Lewis and Murphy and more. The names of the six adult victims will appear on the scoreboard throughout the game. Talk about never having this tragedy far from mind.
At the end of this month of mourning, those jerseys will be offered to the victims' families, and other items throughout the month from Bridgeport and submitted from around the league -- will be auctioned off to support the school community. Further, Newtown residents are invited to games for free through the end of December.
There are no shortcuts to healing, no easy ways to numb the hurt. But hopefully some new bonds can form, some brief moments of smiling or laughter can happen, for those community members who take the team up on the offer.
Game Night: Hosting the Adirondack Phantoms
Last week the Phantoms had that teddy bear experience every team fears: They held the teddy bear night, but the home team didn't score. Last night was far better; the Phantoms phended (sorry) off Syracuse in a shootout on the road. This, after blowing a 3-0 lead and being outshot 35-13 through the final two periods and overtime.
Overall, Adirondack is just a point above Albany (though Albany has two games in hand) at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. There's likely to be an eery memorial-like vibe to this one, but it's one Bridgeport should be able to win.