Does the world revolve around sports? From their behavior, I’m sure that’s what some of our more rabid and unreasonable Husker football fans would have us believe. Sports can, I believe, deliver a cerebral life lesson now and again.
I believe we’ve had a couple of those lately.
What could be worse for a mom and dad than to have their 7-year-old afflicted with brain cancer?
Jack Hoffman is who I’m talking about, but you already knew that, didn’t you? By now everybody knows about Team Jack and about Jack’s 69-yard touchdown in the Husker spring game.
Jack is in the worst kind of fight … the fight to have a future.
Here’s a little kid who’s had to put up with surgeons digging into his brain, way down there deep, not once but twice. What chance does a boy of 7 have against a 60-week series of chemo treatments that would knock down Mean Joe Greene? The answer, you’d think, is zero. But Jack survived it. Not only did he make it through, by some miracle he emerged with enough strength left to score that 69-yard TD and give us all a double-dose of inspiration.
And what of the Boston Marathon bombing? How toxic must be the pus that passes for brain tissue in the monsters who did this despicable, cowardly thing? The pure evil in their souls is staggering.
It’s horrible that three completely innocent people were killed. It’s horrible that something close to 20 others had one or more of their limbs blown off. It’s horrible that emergency room doctors and nurses had to dig nails and other shrapnel out of the bodies of children. Reports are that up to 40 metal fragments were removed from some of the victims.
Why? Because the bombs were packed with pieces of metal specifically intended to shred flesh and sever bone. They did their work tragically well.
What’s the “little ray of light” in the headline above?
I think it’s the way the people of our state, and then the whole nation took Jack Hoffman and his story into their living rooms and beyond, into their hearts. His story is the epitome of sad, terrifying and unfair, but because of Jack a huge pile of money is now available to help fund the search for weapons. Weapons of good. Weapons we can use to mount an assault on juvenile cancer.
We were all swept away, weren’t we, about how people reacted after those two terrible explosions in Boston?
From doctors who were there down to regular Joe Schmoes like you and me … a small army of good people rushed in to do what they could. By all accounts a great many lives were saved by people savvy enough, and willing, to pinch off gushing arteries, to use whatever they could lay hands on to fashion makeshift tourniquets or to help in countless other ways.
It’s been gratifying to see how people have responded to Jack’s story and how they charged into action in Boston.
Sports themselves aren’t the lead story in either case, but in both sports is the vehicle that helps us understand there’s a whole lot in life, and death, that eclipses sports in the grand scheme of life.
Always has been. Always will be.