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Article - Maverick fan of more than just athletics

Maverick fan of more than just athletics

Maverick fan of more than just athletics

Jon Brooks and his wife have owned and operated the UNO hockey team website for the past 10 years.

Posted: Tue, Jan 18, 2011

Jon Brooks and his wife, Bridget, graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1996. They both received degrees in public relations/advertising and now own their own marketing communications company in Omaha, Image Building Communications.

For the past 10 years, they've also owned and operated MavPuck.com, a fan site for the UNO hockey team. One recent post from Jon emphasized the couple's gratefulness to UNO and explained their passion for Mavs hockey:

As a lifelong Nebraskan, I have always been a fan of Husker Football. I count the 1994 and 1995 championships as a great epoch for the program. When I was a kid, it was something my dad and I looked forward to every single fall. The first game I saw in person was against Florida State in the early ‘80s.

I still love football. But my focus shifted in 1991 when I became a student at UNO.

When I tell people I am a UNO fan, I am talking about more than simply being a fervent follower of its athletic teams. I am a fan of the University of Nebraska at Omaha in general. This is an institution that has afforded me many opportunities in life that I wouldn't have had if I'd not made the decision to attend as a student out of high school.

UNO gave me and my wife full-ride scholarships, which were huge blessings and have allowed us to pursue many wonderful opportunities in life. I earned additional scholarships and honors, and thoroughly felt at home at UNO. Moreover, I count many of the faculty that I met in those years as lasting colleagues and friends, and the connection endures to this day.

UNO is often an institution for "second chances." The school has a robust non-traditional population of students who are working to better their own life situations. We met countless single mothers and fathers who were working multiple jobs and squeezing in classes in pursuit of a college degree.

There is something endearing about being an alum of a metropolitan university that strives to support the local community and provide a trained and educated workforce. There are so many relevant and fascinating programs at this fine institution.

The passion that my wife and I have for the university is no secret. People know that we love UNO. That is why I sent Bridget over to UNO in 1996 to stand in line for UNO Hockey tickets. Honestly, the sport has taken precedence ever since.

And as we cheer the team on, it isn't merely a love of hockey and all things crimson and black. Rather, it is a wholehearted desire to see the entire university succeed and get the recognition and attention it deserves.

I went to a high school where many of my classmates attended Ivy League giants and other top academic institutions around the nation. At the time, UNO was considered a "default" or "safety" school for many of my classmates – a university you attended if you didn't have the money to go away to school.

But UNO offered a rich experience that made a significant difference in my life. As such, I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder in regards to the institution – I have a considerable amount of pride, and feel a "sense of ownership" as a proud alum.

That is why I slog my way to hockey games through thick and thin. In many respects, the hockey program is a physical manifestation of the university itself. And that is why I fervently cheer for our team.

In August 2010, the University of Nebraska at Omaha athletic department started The One Fund, a new initiative to make supporting Maverick sports teams more efficient. It's in partnership with the University of Nebraska Foundation.

To contribute to Maverick athletics you can give online or contact Terry Hanna at 402-502-4106 or 800-432-3216.

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