There are a number of philanthropic uniform-related promotions in the game of football, most notably the NFL's pink initiative that will re-start this week and run through the entire month of October. Each promotion, from the NFL down to the Pop Warner games down the street, does some measure of good. But with all due respect, no promotion was better than the one Southern Illinois did this past Saturday.
The Salukis traded their traditional maroon jerseys for black as part of their Black Out Cancer game. SIU put 80 jerseys up for auction, with bidders putting their name, or a name of a friend or loved one affected by cancer on the back. The highest bid got their pick of which number they preferred, and then the rest followed in descending order. The winning bidder, going by the name "greydawg", put in $1,750, and No. 80, "Foster Fam", contributed $210. SIU players then replaced their own nameplates for the donors they represented for one night.
This is Southern Illinois cornerback Keith Suggs wearing a jersey with "Tempe" on the back.
You simply won't find a better way to connect a fan to his or her favorite team than this.
All told, Southern Illinois raised nearly $34,000 to the SIH Foundation, which announced it would forward the money to its Hope is Home Campaign, which aims to build a comprehensive cancer treatment center in southern Illinois. This is the fourth year Southern Illinois has held a Black Out Cancer game, and the third year SIU partnered with the SIH Foundation.
Here's the video Southern Illinois made to promote the Black Out Cancer game.
To top everything off, Southern Illinois beat cross-state rival Western Illinois wearing their black jerseys, 34-17.
Check out Southern Illinois' Black Out Cancer site here. Your school could definitely do something like this.
(Photo credit: Southern Illinois athletics)
(Video by Plain Brown Media)