July 17, 2013

Optimists are rooting for Team Jack at the ESPYS

Optimist Clubs around the US and especially those in Nebraska are rooting for Team Jack today to win an ESPY award. ESPYS are the awards given by ESPN to recognize outstanding moments in sports that have been filmed in the past year.

They had an outstanding moment in Nebraska when 5-year old Jack Hoffman made a touchdown run in a game for the Cornhuskers during the spring.

A little over two years ago, Jack was diagnosed with pediatric brain cancer. While undergoing treatment, he became a fan of Nebraska football player Rex Burkhead. Rex, in turn, became a fan of Jack's and was instrumental in organizing a local chapter of Uplifting Athletes to raise funds for his cause. Rex also used Jack's name to lift his teammates spirits when they were down. "Jack's not giving up," said Rex, "and we're not giving up."

Late in the evening on April 5, Nebraska director of football operations Jeff Jamrog called the Hoffman residence to see if young Jack wanted to suit-up for the game the following day. The result follows in a dream come true for Team Jack.

After its first broadcast, the clip made its way through the talk shows and Jack and Rex were invited to meet President Obama at the White House. Perhaps the fairy tale will end at the ESPYs. Jack's TD run faces such other outstanding moments of the year as Andy Murray, the first Brit to win Wimbledon in 77 years; Alex Morgan scores the winning goal in the Olympic semifinal; and Chuck Pagano's return to the Colts.

Outstanding, all, but it's tough to beat a childhood cancer survivor. They're tough and they're optimists.

 Click here to cast your vote now.
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