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He could go all the way.
April 7, 2013 7:21 AM   Subscribe

At the University of Nebraska's football, Spring Game (essentially a practice scrimmage that is attended by more than 60,000 rabid fans) on Saturday, there was an incredible play that you must see. It was 4th and 1 from the Red's 31 yard line. Into the game came 7-year-old Jack Hoffman, a 7 year old brain cancer patient. Just watch the play.

There are (many) things much more important than a football game.
posted by spock (45 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sweet....
posted by mule98J at 7:26 AM on April 7, 2013


I was all ready to hate this but that was really cool.
posted by karlos at 7:29 AM on April 7, 2013


I sincerely don't know how to google this question: Why didn't the opposing team stop the very small and sick child from scoring? The milk of human kindness?
/does not understand football
posted by angrycat at 7:30 AM on April 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Terrible contain.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:30 AM on April 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why didn't the opposing team stop the very small and sick child from scoring? The milk of human kindness?

Yeah. That and -- seriously, would you want to be the guy who tackled a kid with brain cancer?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:31 AM on April 7, 2013 [19 favorites]


Awwww, that's cute.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:31 AM on April 7, 2013


There are (many) things much more important than a football game.

As sweet as this was for the team to do for little Jack, this game was a scrimmage. I'll believe that there's nothing more important than a football game when this happens during regular season play.
posted by item at 7:38 AM on April 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


They certainly drew up the right play for him. Anybody who watched the Big 10 Championship game last year knows what Wisconsin knew: The Cornhuskers will give you the sideline.
posted by spock at 7:40 AM on April 7, 2013 [13 favorites]


angrycat: the opposing team in this instance was the same team. They were playing each other for the fun/practice of it.
posted by thylacine at 7:41 AM on April 7, 2013


It was rather great how nicely planned out that play was.
posted by item at 7:42 AM on April 7, 2013


Why didn't the opposing team stop the very small and sick child from scoring?
Vinnie, is that you?
posted by fullerine at 7:48 AM on April 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


That was just great.
posted by Whitall Tatum at 7:49 AM on April 7, 2013


Every single kid with cancer should get this super special treatment. Make it a law.
posted by orme at 7:50 AM on April 7, 2013 [9 favorites]


Nebraska is such a weird, frequently upsetting place.

But that's for another thread. In the mean time I'll do my requisite "Somebody's talking about Nebraska!" dance and confess that this was a mighty kind thing to do for a little guy in awful circumstances.
posted by menialjoy at 7:51 AM on April 7, 2013


Everyone needs to stop chopping onions in here.
posted by deathpanels at 7:54 AM on April 7, 2013 [9 favorites]


Why didn't the opposing team stop the very small and sick child from scoring? The milk of human kindness?

Yes, that. (also, it's a meaningless training game)

Possibly also every damned player on both teams probably grew-up imagining scoring a touchdown and they all knew innately how cool it would be to make it happen for a kid who, probably, will not get to grow up and make it happen on his own.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:54 AM on April 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah. That and -- seriously, would you want to be the guy who tackled a kid with brain cancer?

Had that been soccer, and had Jaap Stam been playing on the opposite side, yes he would.
posted by MartinWisse at 7:57 AM on April 7, 2013


The thing that's killing me is imagining the kid watching the video footage over and over and over while he sits in his hospital bed.

:(
:)
:(
:)
posted by deathpanels at 8:04 AM on April 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


The only thing missing was him spiking the football after doing a taunting, in-your-face dance. And then pointing to heaven and thanking God of course.
posted by three blind mice at 8:07 AM on April 7, 2013


Now I want to the see the adorable kid with brain cancer who's only wanted to play free safety all his life take out a WR at 90 mph.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:08 AM on April 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Bringing that child on field and letting him have his moment makes me think how helpless most of us are in shielding babies from mortality. I think of less fortunate children and am grateful at least Jack is beloved and (hopefully) recovering.

The mysteries of suffering and compassion, beautiful as they can be, often make me wish things could be otherwise.
posted by mistersquid at 8:09 AM on April 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sure, everyone's "Awww!" and "Yay!" now, but how are they going to feel when some cynical coach suits up a terminally ill kid to salvage a lost Superbowl game.
posted by fredludd at 8:10 AM on April 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


They could have tackled a member of the camera crew, at least.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:10 AM on April 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


As sweet as this was for the team to do for little Jack, this game was a scrimmage. I'll believe that there's nothing more important than a football game when this happens during regular season play.

You know what's the truly sad thing about doing nice things for others? There's always someone out there to remind you how what you did wasn't nice enough.

And just to prove how truly jaded this thought is, here are a couple of recent examples of people doing what you're looking for. Real, live football.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 8:10 AM on April 7, 2013 [15 favorites]


Why didn't the opposing team stop the very small and sick child from scoring?

If anything I imagine going for a sweep on fourth and short threw off the secondary.
posted by Adam_S at 8:13 AM on April 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


Some things only seem to translate: like photos of the Grand Canyon for example. The best picture is still only a hint.

The owner of one of the pack stations I worked at had a downs son, who was 16. He loved the horses and mules, and his cheerful countenance was always uplifting. The boss and his wife belonged to a support group of parents with children in the same boat as their son. He claimed that his son was a blessing, a thing I found hard to believe.

Until one day during the first season I worked for him. It was just before deer season, and we had a lull in the business. The boss arranged for the parents of the support group to bring their children up to the pack station for the day. He told us that he wanted us to saddle up a few of the more gentle dude horses, and we would put these guys on them and lead them around the area--these guys, by the way, ranged in age from mid-teens to their mid twenties. They were not really capable of handling the stock themselves, at least not without instruction, so the safe thing was to have a packer like me lead them around. The Boss tells us we don't have to do this, and can just take the day off. But I figured what the hell.

Here's the deal: the first time...I put this kid in the saddle. He leans forward and hugs the horse's' neck. His smile. Pure joy. All day it was like that. If joy is infectious, theirs was palpable. I went through the afternoon with intermittent tears running down my face. By the end of the day I was wiped out. I've seldom had such a genuinely good time. I believe I understood what the Boss said about blessings.

This was my Grand Canyon moment. No way to actually express this, even in photos.

So, Go Jack!
posted by mule98J at 8:26 AM on April 7, 2013 [44 favorites]


I really don't want to like anything associated with the University of Nebraska because I have a colleague on faculty there who always wants to talk with me about his Tea Party politics (no, that has nothing to do with science, but there you are). I couldn't help but like this anyway.
posted by wintermind at 8:26 AM on April 7, 2013


Bad acting, though. Would have taken more rehearsal, but they couldn't actually have the line hit each other at the ball snap, would-be tacklers blocked at the last moment, guys falling at his feet as he ran? I'm sure it was fun and all, but 7 years old is old enough to feel patronized by guys waving their hands and going "grr! grr!"

(that said, at 7 years old, that would have been good enough for me. I'm just saying, how 'bout some effort, here?)
posted by ctmf at 9:21 AM on April 7, 2013


Huskers Nation Flips Its Shit After Someone Thumbs-Downs Cute Video, Sam Eifling, Deadspin, 6 April 2013

Also, because I'm That Guy™, here's the unadulterated direct YouTube link to the video. Which is worth it for the comment from Carson Coleman, "Jack Hoffman is one of the few backs in America who can pull this off. He faked to the left when he knew the hole´╗┐ was to the right."

There's also video of players and coaches giving Hoffman the play on the sideline which is pretty cute.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:27 AM on April 7, 2013


Pretty darn adorable. I moved to Lincoln five years ago from the East Coast, expecting I had seen it all when it came to football fandom from living in DC and also Penn State. It's a different flavor here since there aren't any local NFL teams and people drive for hours to come to the games (which means if I have business downtown during one, I bike.) This little dude has probably spent a lot of time in his back yard running plays, pretending he's a Husker.
posted by PussKillian at 9:45 AM on April 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was really hoping for a 2 handed spike in the end zone.
posted by COD at 10:39 AM on April 7, 2013


Yes, we all know what would happen if they did this during a regular game, so can we just let the little kid with brain cancer enjoy his moment, for fuck's sake?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:44 AM on April 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


The is an old joke that the N on Nebraska's helmets stands for "Knowledge". I guess it really stands for "Nice".
posted by Cranberry at 11:03 AM on April 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


For you non-college-football-y types, spring scrimmages (where half your team plays against the other half) are a lot of fun. It helps the team get some kinks out and lets the media get a first look at the team, but the larger context is, it's a really popular time for youngish alumni to bring their small children to campus to experience a "football weekend" without it being a football weekend. The weather is beautiful, the quads are full of little boys and girls in team jersey playing football with their dads (and moms), lots of student groups do hotdog stands and things as fundraisers, the band does impressive marching band things, and usually since it's just gotten warm the college kids are all in great moods and playing guitars on the quad and generally having lots of fun. The tickets to the scrimmage are free or cheap, and there's usually a "meet the players" event for children before or after the game. The game is "real," but low-stakes, so nobody's swearing, and nobody's drunk, and everyone's in a good mood and cheering, and your team always wins, and it's okay if you get tired and go home early. In short, it's a little piece of college-as-heaven, geared towards little kids about 12-and-under who love sports and who get to go see where mom and dad went to college and have a sort of kiddie-sized version of a football weekend.

If you had a 7-year-old who loved football, a spring scrimmage weekend would be about the best possible version of a football weekend to start with. Getting to go on the field is just GRAVY.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:10 AM on April 7, 2013 [14 favorites]


a practice scrimmage that is attended by more than 60,000 rabid fans)

Making Memorial Stadium effectively the third-largest city in Nebraska.
The capacity of Memorial Stadium is 81,091; record attendance is 86,304.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:21 PM on April 7, 2013


i wasn't hatin', just not understandin'.
Whatever it takes to make a sick kid happy like that is okay by me
posted by angrycat at 3:00 PM on April 7, 2013


That's sweet. What is even better is this:
Jack met Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead last year and the two became friends. Rex was named captain of "Team Jack," a support group made up of Jack's friends and family, and when Jack scored his touchdown, he was wearing a miniature Rex jersey. Burkhead, who completed his senior season last fall, was elated after the game.

That's one guy, who's gone out of his way to befriend someone, and gone the distance with him to make this possible.
posted by SLC Mom at 3:24 PM on April 7, 2013


For the record, Rex Burkhead graduated last year, and so someone(s) had to continue what he started, to make this possible.
posted by spock at 3:50 PM on April 7, 2013


Why didn't the opposing team stop the very small and sick child from scoring?

Maybe some things are more important than one play in a preseason scrimmage.
posted by mhoye at 4:31 PM on April 7, 2013


The tight end was offsides. I'm just sayin'.
posted by horsewithnoname at 7:41 PM on April 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


The tight end was offsides. I'm just sayin'.

yeah, the line coach probably had something in his eye....
posted by mule98J at 9:09 PM on April 7, 2013


I'm confused. Where do negative stereotypes of Nebraskans come from, and why? Has something changed? I've never had any negative encounters with Nebraskans.
posted by Goofyy at 5:24 AM on April 8, 2013


When will I learn to stop clicking these things at work? Now everybody here thinks I have a cold.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:25 AM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm confused. Where do negative stereotypes of Nebraskans come from, and why? Has something changed? I've never had any negative encounters with Nebraskans.

It is a severely "red state" and that is enough reason for many on the Blue.
posted by spock at 5:29 AM on April 8, 2013


Well, Nebraska, the theory: I spent a week driving through it one day, along the Platte River, I guess it was called. Goddam river was half a mile wide and a foot deep, and the highest point of land I saw before I got to Omaha was a goddam silo off in the distance. I've got no beef with the Nebraskoids, though.
posted by mule98J at 6:44 PM on April 11, 2013


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