When the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team runs onto Gordon Davenport Field at Finley Stadium on Saturday evening, the Mocs will be carrying the loftiest expectations in program history.
They have a top 10 national ranking in the Football Championship Subdivision and the knowledge that surpassing last year's record-setting success is within reach.
Those Mocs also will carry with them a silver-dollar-sized reminder of the evil that visited our city this summer.
Affixed to the Moc's helmets will be a circular sticker with the 7-16-15 date at the top, the hashtag #noogastrong in the center and the UTC "Power C" logo at the bottom.
One member of the UTC athletic department said they did not make a big deal of the tribute because it's a fine line between commercialization and commemoration.
There will be an extended moment of silence that should be followed by an overwhelming standing ovation. Two of the officers who responded to the shooting incidents will be part of the coin toss.
I called a UTC spokesman recently when it was announced that Virginia Tech was honoring the murdered television reporters with a helmet decal to see if UTC was doing anything.
For the most part, UTC personnel have been hesitant to discuss the topic, and one member of the sports department said UTC's subtle gesture would be in this week's game notes. On page 9 to be exact.
You understand UTC's motive to honor the slain as gracefully as possible. The act deserves more than that, of course, but kudos to everyone in blue and gold — from Athletic Director David Blackburn to Coach Russ Huesman and Associate AD Jay Blackman — for choosing to do the right thing, in the right way, for all the right reasons.
From Blacksburg, Va., to South Carolina, which will have a decal honoring the nine people killed at a Charleston church, to right here at home, honoring too many who have died too soon has become a tragic and all-too-familiar ritual.
UTC's is a tribute that has been without fanfare, is silent and strong — #noogastrong, of course.
Above the phrase on the decal will be five stars, one for each of the slain military men.
The five fallen heroes of that day proved they were willing to give their lives for our freedom. It's the ultimate sacrifice.
Their killer also was willing to give up his life. His was the act of ultimate selfishness.
Do all lives matter? Yes. Of course they do.
But if you put your life on the line for others — like our five fallen heroes — then your sacrifice will always have more meaning. It deserves recognition and any gestures we can manage, whether they be concerts to raise money or bumper stickers or the local college football team's helmets.
If, on the other hand, you put yourself in line for potential danger — like terrorists — then you are rolling the dice.
Of course all lives matter, but we cry for the innocent and we honor — like UTC's graceful tribute — fallen heroes.
There were six deaths on July 16. Five heroes were killed and deserve to be honored, and a coward met justice.
Contact Jay Greeson at email@example.com and at 423-757-6343. Follow him on Twitter at @jgreesontfp. His "Right to the Point" column appears on A2 Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.