Sunday night, the Buffalo Bills ended a 17-year playoff drought. They did so with help from the Cincinnati Bengals, who scored a last-minute touchdown on a pass from Andy Dalton to Tyler Boyd to beat the Baltimore Ravens, giving the final playoff spot to the Bills. On Monday, Bills fans found a way to express their gratitude in a unique and givign way.
Following Sunday’s win by the Bengals, Dalton noticed a spike in donations to the charity he founded with his wife, the Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation. The charity gives back to sick and disabled children in both Cincinnati and Fort Worth, Texas, where Dalton went to college.
What was peculiar about the donations coming in Sunday night and Monday was that most of them were for $17. It didn’t take long for Dalton to figure out that Bills fans were giving $17 to represent the 17-year playoff drought the Bengals had helped them break.
“I think I’m the hottest guy in Buffalo right now,” Dalton said to reporters Monday. “According to my Twitter, I think everybody’s loving us right now. Obviously that’s a crazy fan base and they’re all pretty excited.”
It’s unclear how the movement of Bills fans making donations got started, but there’s no denying that the impact has been substantial. Monday night, Dalton tweeted that in roughly 24 hours, the charity raised $57,000 from over 2,500 contributors.
“We’re appreciative of that,” Dalton said of the donations. “Obviously they’re helping out a good cause. It’s been pretty fun to see the reaction we’ve gotten.”
The Andy and Jordan Dalton Foundation has issued a statement thanking Bills fans for their generosity.
“Buffalo fans are a class act,” read the statement. . “Thank you for showing your appreciation to Andy Dalton by supporting the families we serve. All of your donations will go to our outreach programs. We can do more with your help.”
Before Buffalo clinched a playoff spot on Sunday, Bills fans were known for being some of the longest-suffering in sports. After the way they’ve donated large sums of money to show their appreciation for Dalton and the Bengals, it won’t be long until they’re considered the most generous fans in sports.