Recently the Cincinnati Bearcats community suffered a tragic loss. Hours after the Bearcats beat Miami in Oxford, Ohio, last Saturday, several players were involved in a car crash that ended in heartbreak. Freshman offensive lineman Ben Flick, 19, died hours after the crash. The accident has since claimed a second life, that of Flick's best friend, a Miami student, and the driver of the car, Sean VanDyne.
Two of Flick's UC teammates were also involved in the crash; wide receivers Mark Barr and Javon Harrison. Harrison has been released from the hospital, but Barr remains in critical condition. Cincinatti is on a bye week as the team and community try to cope with the tragic accident.
In honor of the memory of Flick, Western Michigan Broncos head football coach P.J. Fleck has decided that his Broncos will wear Cincinnati's logo on their helmets this weekend against Kent State.
Why would the WMU Broncos, who as College Football Talk pointed out have only played UC three times in program history and who have no ties to any of the affected parties do this? Because as Fleck explained in an email to CFT, he felt it was the right thing to do:
"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."
For all the fun we have here at Hustle Belt with Fleck's "Row The Boat" mantra, it has a significant meaning. It's more than just a saying, it is a belief about how to carry yourself that is rooted deep in Fleck's own personal tragedy. Fleck understands the pain of losing a child, and for him to take the time out to honor the memory of someone else's child is one of the classiest moves I've seen in college football.
Row The Boat.