UNLV fans came ready to help Las Vegas heal at Saturday's football game. Photo credit: Erik John Ricardo for LVSportsBiz.com

UNLV Football Game Strikes Right Chord For Healing The Hurt

By ALAN SNEL

 

The signs of coping and healing and crying are all over Las Vegas — the new memorial garden near City Hall, the skywriter who left a heart above the city and the Saturday night bicyclists with lighted two-wheelers who raised money for the shooting massacre victims.

 

Photo credit: Erik John Ricardo for LVSportsBiz.com

 

And Saturday night, the game entertainment and marketing staffers for UNLV football game struck the right chord at Sam Boyd Stadium to honor the first responders who risked their lives to save so many other lives when a 64-year-old Mesquite, NV shooter murdered 58 innocent country music fans at a festival on the Strip from his nearby Mandalay Bay hotel-casino room Sunday night.

 

UNLV’s special helmet for Saturday’s game drew national attention. Photo credit: Erik John Ricardo for LVSportsBiz.com

 

The police and fire-rescue personnel walked into Sam Boyd Stadium and released 58 white balloons — one for each person killed by the murderer.

 

First responders line up before the UNLV football game tonight to be recognized for their work during the shooting massacre on the Strip Sunday night.

 

And in a touching move, each UNLV football player came onto the field and shook the hand of a different first responder as lines of both — first responders and Rebels players — came together on the Sam Boyd Stadium gridiron.

 

UNLV players and first responders greeting each other before the UNLV-San Diego State game tonight.

 

UNLV played video clips of coaches thanking first responders, the Andre Agassi-narrated video about Las Vegas standing strong and news clips showing the horror. But the content was not overwhelming and did not overshadow the play on the field. UNLV could not overcome San Diego State’s superior talent, losing 41-10 and dropping to 2-3 on the season.

 

As the first responders left the field before the game started, halftime performer Pat Dalton thanked every single officer and fire-rescue staffer.

 

“Thank you for what you do,” Dalton repeated to each.

 

He then told LVSportsBiz.com, “I saw what they did. It’s an honor to thank them.”

 

Fans also came ready to support Las Vegas during this emotionally-troubled week.

 

The #VegasStrong message was everywhere Saturday night. Photo credit: Erik John Ricardo for LVSportsBiz.com

 

LVSportsBiz.com was hoping to talk with UNLV Athletic Director Desiree Reed-Francois about Saturday’s game presentation, but she could not be reached.

 

Sam Boyd Stadium Executive Director Mike Newcomb said UNLV worked with San Diego State to have the San Diego State team wear the red ribbon stickers. Sam Boyd Stadium also added a red ribbon to the football field in the middle of the week, Newcomb said.

 

Vegas Strong shirts were all around Sam Boyd Stadium. Photo credit: Erik John Ricardo for LVSportsBiz.com

 

Contact LVSportsBiz.com founder/writer Alan Snel at asnel@LVSportsBiz.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alan Snel

Alan Snel brings decades of sports-business reporting experience to LVSportsBiz.com.

Snel covered the business side of sports for the South Florida (Fort Lauderdale) Sun-Sentinel, the Tampa Tribune and Las Vegas Review-Journal. As a city hall beat reporter, Snel also covered stadium deals in Denver and Seattle.

In 2000, Snel launched a sport-business website for FoxSports.com called FoxSportsBiz.com.

After reporting sports-business for the RJ, Snel wrote hard-hitting stories on the Raiders stadium for the Desert Companion magazine in Las Vegas and The Nevada Independent.

Snel is also one of the top bicycle advocates in the country.

alan32963gmail-com has 183 posts and counting.See all posts by alan32963gmail-com