Light Yourself on Fire - Part 3

Light Yourself on Fire - Part 3

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A look back at how Team Jack got started 5 years ago.....

By: Andy Hoffman

Read Part 1, Part 2

What Just Happened

By the end of September, we had sold approximately 10,000 Team Jack t-shirts and by the end of the 2012 season, we had sold nearly 30,000 t-shirts. In January 2013, we presented Dana-Farber Cancer Institute with a $275,000 check for research. This was the result of the Team Jack t-shirt project.

Notably, the first delivery of research dollars occurred prior to Jack’s touchdown run. While Jack’s touchdown run certainly helped catapult the Foundation to national prominence, Rex Burkhead’s relationship with Jack and the groundwork that he laid through his efforts to provide national awareness using his platform as a Husker player and involvement in the Uplifting Athletes foundation, truly laid the ground work for the Team Jack movement. Had it not been for the attention that he drew to Jack’s fight with pediatric brain cancer, and the need for research funding for this disease, Team Jack would have been an unknown cause, and the t-shirt project would have never been a possibility.

Fast forwarding to today, The Team Jack Foundation has sold nearly 50,000 of these Team Jack t-shirts. In consulting with two of the most prominent t-shirt printers in Lincoln and Omaha, who are both responsible for the printing of the shirt, we can be certain that this is one of the top three best-selling Husker t-shirts of all time. While the numbers are not definite statistics, the only t-shirts that may top the total of the Team Jack shirt, is the 1994 National championship t-shirt and the Tom Osborne retirement t-shirt.

My wife and I continue to be humbled by this remarkable experience in our lives. The lessons learned from that first fundraising effort were invaluable. The most important lesson that we learned, however, is that you can never underestimate the graciousness of Nebraska Cornhusker fans or our fellow Nebraskans. Whoever etched the words “Through these gates walk the greatest fans in College Football” in to the walls of Memorial stadium, was genius. But those fans are not the greatest fans in college football because of their loyalty as Husker fans, but are the greatest fans in college football because of their graciousness towards their fellow man. 

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