Playing the Field: 7-year-old scores in Nebraska spring game

Occasionally you get a sports story that just wins us over and turns us into blubbering fools. Or at least gives us goosebumps, anyway. (We’re men, we don’t cry. Ever. Usually.)

Over the weekend, Nebraska held their spring football game and gave us one of those moments.

All college teams hold spring practices and finish with a scrimmage at the stadium. There’s not much to do in Nebraska, so 80,000 people show up, tailgate and generally treat it like a real game.

But not for one play on Saturday.

Jack Hoffman is a 7-year-old survivor of brain cancer who the team has “adopted” as a teammate.  You see stories like this from time to time, but rarely does the kid get out on the field with his (or her) heroes. He plays cheerleader, runs some huddles in practice and has the time of his life. ESPN’s “My Wish” series is a perfect example.

But Jack got to play Saturday in the spring game and it couldn’t have been better to see. He ran for a 69-yard touchdown, with a little help getting started from star quarterback Taylor Martinez.

They probably should have pitched it to him on the option if you’re sticking with Nebraska history, but who can quibble with a play that goes the distance?

Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports. It’s allergies, damnit! I swear.


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