Every now and then, there’s one of those stories that transcends sports and restores your hope for humanity.
Amid all the negatives in sports nowadays – it’s moments like the one that happened last week at the University of Nebraska’s spring football game that help remind us all how sports are about more than winning games.
Jack Hoffman, a 7-year-old boy from Atkinson, Neb., nearly died in 2011 when he went into a completely unexpected 30-minute seizure. Lucky to be alive, it only continued to get worse for Jack as doctors discovered a large tumor on his brain. After one unsuccessful surgery to remove the tumor, Jack suffered through several grueling months, sometimes having as many as 12 seizures in a day. Left with no other option, Jack’s family decided to give the surgery another shot, despite serious life-threatening risks.
This time, it was a success. Doctors were able to remove 95 percent of the tumor, and Jack hasn’t had a seizure since. The 7-year-old trooper recently completed a 60-week chemotherapy treatment as well.
Jack’s incredible journey culminated last Saturday when he became the youngest college football player in history. Jack entered the inter-squad scrimmage late in the fourth quarter.
Head Coach Bo Pelini and senior quarterback Taylor Martinez drew up a play to get Jack the ball.
After going over the play with the coach and star quarterback, the newest Cornhusker took the handoff from Martinez and sprinted as fast as his little legs would carry him, taking it 69 yards to the end zone.
The story of Jack and the Nebraska football team reminds us to take a step back and look around us. It is not hard to brighten someone’s day.
Column by Jonathan Ferris, Staff writer.