If you've ever questioned the value of sports, you need only watch this chill-inducing clip from the Nebraska spring football game Saturday. In it 7-year-old Jack Hoffman, who is suffering from brain cancer, took to the field with the big boys in front of a crowd of 60,000 people.
Decked out in a red Nebraska jersey emblazoned with number 22, he took a hand-off from quarterback Taylor Martinez and ran down the field. With blockers clearing the way, he ran 69 yards for a truly unforgettable touchdown, and the crowd went wild.
As the commentator said, "That was a moment right there."
Jack was diagnosed with the cancer in April 2011 and has had two surgeries since then. According to the Associated Press, he's currently on a two-week break from 60 weeks of chemotherapy, and was given the opportunity after the team's running back, Rex Burkhead, struck up a friendship with him. Since then the whole team has embraced "Team Jack", and this plan was put into place.
I grew up in Nebraska, and I can tell you that playing on that field at Memorial Stadium is what virtually ALL little boys (and their parents) there dream of. To know your child is suffering from a disease that could prevent those dreams from ever coming true has got to be heartbreaking. So to give Jack and his family this gift, this glimpse into a future they're praying so desperately for, is priceless. And what a great inspiration to everyone who saw that little boy run with all of his heart out there like that. As ESPN's Kevin Negandhi tweeted, "Dear Cancer, you will not take away life's great moments. Never give up Jack."
I've never been much of a football fan, but watching this, I've never been more proud to be a Cornhusker. Hopefully Jack will have many more touchdowns in his future.
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Image via YouTube