By now, it would be a challenge to find many unaware of Jack Hoffman’s story.
The 7-year-old’s inspiring 69-yard-touchdown run at the Nebraska spring game was something that genuinely transcended sports. It became less about football and more about a young boy showing that anything is possible.
Jack’s story has spent the last several weeks making people happy. As time marched on, the story just seemed to get better and better. That was until an eBay bidder decided to spoil things.
When Jack’s Upper Deck trading card went up for auction on eBay, bids came rolling in. By the end, a $6,100 bid won it all. An exciting moment that would be ruined when the winning bidder said he had no intention of paying. Claiming a buddy logged into his account and bid on his behalf, Jack’s card suddenly had no winning bid and the money that was going to be donated to pediatric brain cancer research was no longer there.
Prep 2 Pro Sports owner Mike Schnoor was disappointed and rightfully so.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t also disappointed in how the auction for Jack’s card panned out on eBay. It’s not uncommon for eBay bidders to back out of their end of the deal, but it’s especially disappointing in the wake of such an inspiring story.
What that eBay bidder did was wrong. Whether the bidder intentionally bid with no plans to pay or if a buddy thought it was a funny “joke,” this is not something that will define Jack’s story. It may be disappointing, but everything else is uplifting.
When thinking back on the Huskers spring game, it’s hard to not to smile when remembering Jack’s touchdown. Watching a little boy battling pediatric brain cancer live out a dream was enough to make me believe in the overall good in people. It was something that will arguably go with me for the rest of my life as a Nebraska fan.
Jack and his story are bigger than some jerk on eBay. What Jack did by scoring a touchdown on a beautiful spring day was a huge step towards finding a cure for pediatric brain cancer. That’s what matters.
Just take a look at the team of support Jack has built in just a couple short years. From Rex Burkhead to Ndamukong Suh to Bo Pelini and Lindsey Moore, Jack has an endless list of all-star support. Beyond that, his fan base in Nebraska has now grown nationally. What one little boy is doing for pediatric brain cancer research awareness is changing the world.
When we think about why we love sports, it has everything to do with the possibility – the possibility to win a national championship, the possibility to beat a bitter rival, the possibility to be the best. Jack and his story are all of that. Jack is the possibility and the hope.
It’s that possibility and hope, in fact, that took the unfortunate eBay situation and turned it into something so much better. Announced just this morning, three individuals stepped forward to purchase Jack’s trading card in light of what had happened. Those three were James Denton (an actor known for his role on Desperate Housewives, Dr. Darold Opp (a doctor from South Dakota) and Tom Holman (from Texas), according to Fox News. Each individual that stepped forward offered Jack $10,000 each for a card, taking the total raised to $30,000 for pediatric brain cancer research.
That’s the beauty of Jack’s story. What was a disappointment at first ended up being a beacon of hope, which is a perfect parallel to Jack’s story. It’s these moments where we remember why Jack touched our lives to begin with. It’s also a good reminder that good always far outweighs the bad.
So forget that individual on eBay that thought he could ruin a perfectly good thing. Jack Hoffman is too busy changing the world.