The Bills needed a little help from Andy Dalton on Sunday to snap a 17-year playoff drought. Now, Bills fans are showing their appreciation by supporting Dalton’s charitable foundation at $17 a pop.
The Bengals jumped out to a 17-3 lead in the first half, but let the Ravens sneak back in. Baltimore took a lead for the first time in the game with 8:48 left in the fourth quarter. Bills fans and players alike held their collective breath until Dalton connected with Tyler Boyd on a 49-yard touchdown with just 44 seconds left in the game for the 31-27 win.
"I think I'm the hottest guy in Buffalo right now," Dalton said on Monday, via ESPN’s Katherine Terrell. "According to my Twitter, I think everybody's loving us right now."
That love is showing up in Dalton’s foundation’s bottom line.
Bills fans, you're amazing.— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) January 1, 2018
After @andydalton14's last minute heroics, more than 150 of you have donated $3,250+ to Andy Dalton's @ajdfoundation to thank him.
If you'd like to join in on the fun, you can donate at https://t.co/5dPjoitL0Q! pic.twitter.com/v0nzfvv8vU
Dalton’s foundation tweeted Tuesday morning that donations are still pouring in from Bills fans.
Dalton shared a message of thanks to everyone who has given.
“Andy and JJ are thankful for the generosity of Bills fans and honored to have the opportunity to use these donations to support the families in need through our Foundation’s programs,” the foundation shared through a statement to SB Nation. “The city of Buffalo truly is the city of good neighbors and crazy fans.”
In addition to the $17 donations, an homage to the 17 years Buffalo waited for a shot at the postseason, Dalton is getting plenty of love from Bills fans in his mentions.
Thank you, Andy! My $17 is on the way! You are now honorary #BillsMafia !— x-Bills Authority (@BillsAuthority) January 1, 2018
I’M BUILDING AN ANDY DALTON STATUE ON MY FRONT LAWN— Slim_Grabey (@Slim_Grabey) January 1, 2018
Thank you, thank you! You can’t know how grateful we are but we are happy to show it ! pic.twitter.com/HUtAhep30K— HR InSight (@HRInSightLLC) January 1, 2018
The donations have been so great, that Dalton’s foundation is putting up five billboards across the Buffalo area to thank them:
Dalton started his foundation with his wife, Jordan, during his rookie season in Cincinnati. The Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation provides “daily support, opportunities, resources, and life-changing experiences to seriously ill and physically challenged children and their families in Cincinnati and Fort Worth,” according to their website.
That includes helping families pay medical bills, providing date nights for parents with chronically ill or special needs children, and stocking The Hub at Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital with iPads, gaming systems, and other fun ways for kids to pass the time while going through medical treatment.
Bills fans are just as happy as the team is to see this drought come to an end. The locker room erupted with joy when the Bills saw Dalton complete that fateful pass. The Bills are even sending some wings to the Bengals as a token of their appreciation.
Dalton’s college teammate at TCU, Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes, said he’d send an Edible Arrangement or some Budweiser Dalton’s way to show his gratitude. Safety Micah Hyde put it plainly.
“Andy Dalton, you heard it here first, I love you man,” Hyde said after the game, via the team’s website. “I love you.”
The Bills get to go to the playoffs, and kids in need are going to benefit through Dalton’s foundation. That’s a win-win situation.