On the first NFL Sunday after the shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., there will be a pregame moment of silence in stadiums across the country.
The New York Giants and Jets will offer a further remembrance with “S.H.E.S.” decals on their helmets.
The New England Patriots, who play the San Francisco 49ers on tonight’s NBC game, will have black-ribbon logos on their helmets. And the Patriots will send up 26 white flares during the moment of silence in Gillette Stadium.
The tragedy, in which 20 children and six teachers were murdered, touched the teams in particular because the Newtown area, lying between New York City and Boston, has a large base of fans of both teams vying for bragging rights. In addition, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports, Patriots owner Robert Kraft owns a company, Rand-Whitney, that has a factory less than two miles from the school.
Only the Patriots have a home game among the region’s three teams, with the Giants playing the Falcons in Atlanta today and the Jets playing the Titans on Monday night in Tennessee.
For “Sunday Night Football,” this is now the third telecast in a row following a tragedy, with the Jovan Belcher murder/suicide Dec. 1 followed by the death of Jerry Brown. Two weeks ago, Bob Costas touched off a heated conversation with his “Sunday Night Football” halftime commentary on weapons. Hopefully, this week’s telecast will get whatever it has planned as right as “Saturday Night Live” did.