Nathan's Notations: Sports can make a lasting impact

Throughout my years as a columnist, I’ve written a few columns on what makes sports great. One of the biggest things, though, isn’t about the game.

A lot of fans focus on wins and losses and what their team did last week. Every once in a while, it is nice to be reminded that there are far more important things in life than the outcome of a game. In my life as a sports fan, I’ve seen many examples of things happening that remind fans of what is really important.

Over the weekend, the University of Nebraska (at the mention of Nebraska, I feel I have to give a shout-out to my former colleague, Craig Halbasch, who is currently attending law school in Nebraska,) held their annual Red and White Football Game. The shining moment of the scrimmage, for me, came at the end of the game.

At the end of the scrimmage, Jake Hoffman, a 7-year-old boy, came onto the field dressed in a miniature Nebraska uniform. Jake has been battling brain cancer, and became friends with Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead last year. Jake came onto the field and took a handoff from quarterback Taylor Martinez toward the end of the game.

Jake ran 69 yards down the field to score a touchdown as the Cornhusker defense slowly chased after him and the 60,000 fans who attended the game loudly cheered him on. As he entered the end zone, players from both sides of the ball mobbed him, hugging him and lifting him up onto their shoulders.

It was one of those great moments in sports that remind you what is really important. For a minute on Saturday, this boy was able to step away from the worries of a two-year battle with cancer and experience an amazing moment in his life.

These moments are some of the things I love about being a sports fan. While some just see sports as mindless entertainment or something trivial, it can open up opportunities like this, to make a boy’s dream come true and bring a community together.

It can also offer an escape from troubles or problems in your life. I’m sure Jake and his family enjoyed having a day when they were able to step away from the worries of life and experience a great moment.

Jake has had two surgeries since being diagnosed with cancer and is currently on a two-week break from chemotherapy treatment. After the game, while talking to members of the press, his father said that the day meant a lot to him and his family, and that they were grateful to the team and fans. He also said that a recent MRI showed that Jake’s tumor is shrinking.

Every year, there are a few moments similar to this that transcend the game and remind us what is really important. While we all want to see our teams win and do well, it’s good to be reminded sometimes that there are things in this world more important than sports.

So, if you’ve been feeling down or doubting the future of humanity, get on a computer and look this video up. It will remind you of the good that is in people.