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Nebraska Huskers: Jack's Moment Shows the Power of Social Media

Jack Hoffman's run would've been seen on a large scale not long ago, but social media increased the wattage of the spotlight on it.

David McGee

Jack Hoffman's 69-yard touchdown run, forever ingrained in Husker history, would've been shared in the past but not on this scale.

It would've made the papers, and the local, maybe even national news and perhaps ESPN SportsCenter would've featured it.

That run has been featured on all of the above, but social media took the average light bulb that would've been on Team Jack a short while ago and increased the wattage exponentially.

Thanks to the reason for existence for some (and the bane of others'), blogs and social media such as Facebook and Twitter put footage of what happened at this year's Spring Game on a bullet train around the world.

Within two days of being uploaded on YouTube, if you hadn't seen his run on the official Huskers channel before, you were a part of 2,000,000-plus that did. The sports world responded rapidly with sportscasters and pundits such as Erin Andrews, Kirk Herbstreit, Scott Van Pelt, Stuart Scott, Colin Cowherd, Stewart Mandel all chiming in via Twitter.

You wouldn't have expected the same from celebrities such as Alyssa Milano or Ellen DeGeneres, however, but that's what's happened.

Big names shouting their congratulations to Jack and the University of Nebraska is great, but Team Jack isn't about fame. It's about awareness.


Those who've seen the clip on YouTube aren't the only ones who've likely looked up more about Jack's battle with pediatric brain cancer.

The Team Jack Facebook page had 5,074 likes during the week of March 24. As of this writing, it now has 39,314.

Jack and his dad, Andy, were on ESPN for an interview as was Rex Burkhead. Anyone have the ratings numbers for Good Morning America? Jack was featured there, too.

The national coverage itself is nothing short of amazing, but when you take into account that Jack's run has gone global to Japan and Denmark, it's mind-blowing.

Would all this be possible if it weren't for the up-to-the-minute world we live in? Maybe. However, in 2013, a sight such as Jack's run is guaranteed to be seen. The memory will be heard and felt.

Tears will fall and people will want to know about this child, what he's suffering from and how he's persevered.

All of that information's readily available, too.

Burkhead introduced Jack to Husker Nation. How appropriate that the University of Nebraska help introduce him to the world wearing Burkhead's number in a matter of days.

The Hoffmans first had those devoted to the cause of spreading awareness of their son's condition in Atkinson, NE. Now that number has exploded, and Team Jack is no longer limited to the state of Nebraska or even the United States.

Thanks to Tweeters, YouTube and Facebook addicts, Jack's not only in the hearts and minds of Husker Nation, but several around the globe.