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In case you hadn’t heard, the Buffalo Bills broke their streak of playoff-less seasons on Sunday night, gaining the sixth and final AFC playoff spot when the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Baltimore Ravens.
Andy Dalton’s 49-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Bond in the final minute of regulation gave the Bengals the win and the Baltimore the boot – had the Ravens won, they were in and the Bills would have been out.
The score set off a raucous celebration in the visitors’ locker room at Hard Rock Stadium, where the Bills had beaten the Miami Dolphins, and in the stadium concourse, where Bills fans had gathered to see if their long drought was ending.
The Bills pledged to send some of the city’s famous Buffalo wings as a thank you, and fans have found a way to express their gratitude as well.
The Andy and Jordan Dalton Foundation has seen a spike in donations since the Bengals’ win.
And many of the donations have been $17, to mark the 17 seasons Buffalo went without making the postseason.
“I think I’m the hottest guy in Buffalo right now,” Dalton joked to reporters on Monday, via ESPN’s Katherine Terrell. “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 started.
UPDATE: Just before 8 p.m. ET, Dalton tweeted that his organization had gotten 1,600 donations totaling over $37,000. “This money is going to make a huge impact for seriously ill and physically challenged kids and their families! Keep it coming!!”
Dalton and his wife, Jordan, formed the foundation in 2011, when the quarterback was drafted by Cincinnati. The foundation’s website says its mission “is to provide daily support, opportunities, resources and life-changing experiences to seriously ill and physically challenged children and their families in Cincinnati and Fort Worth.”
The foundation also put out a statement on Monday thanking Bills fans for their generosity:
“Buffalo fans are a class act,” it read. “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.”
Nice job, #BillsMafia.