Forty-nine yards have turned into more than $100,000 in a wild three-day period for Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, his wife Jordan, and their eponymous foundation.
Sunday night, Dalton hit Tyler Boyd for what proved to be a game-winning touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd in Baltimore – knocking the Ravens out of the playoffs and sending Buffalo to the postseason for the first time this century.
Twitter and Facebook exploded with videos of Bills fans and players celebrating – but the Andy and Jordan Dalton Foundation swelled with a sudden influx of donations from grateful Bills fans, beginning just 30 minutes after the game.
“I think I'm the hottest guy in Buffalo right now,” Andy Dalton said. “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.”
By 9 a.m. Monday morning, foundation support staff realized something unique was happening and by noon they couldn't keep track of the dollar amount as it continued to spin upward.
"It's been so overwhelming to see the amount of support our foundation has received from the Bills fans!" Jordan Dalton said."It honestly brought tears to my eyes this morning when thinking about the type of impact these donations are going to have these amazing kids and their families."
And since “Bills Mafia,” as the rowdy and unique fanbase has been called, couldn't spray hot dog condiments or throw themselves through a table digitally, they added some twists to the donation – including donating $14 (Dalton's number) for each year of the 17-year playoff drought. Or, they pledged to donate $14 on Dec. 31 of every year for the rest of their lives. The foundation received donations from Australia, Israel and England, and donations ranged from $5 to $1,000.
This surge in giving will have a real impact for the AJDF.
An additional 50 families can be helped just with the total raised at publication, and the foundation has almost reached its goal of six grants per month for the entire year of 2018.
To put it into context, the Daltons and the foundation can help about 60 families through their Date Night and Holiday Hearts program. They could host about 250 families at five separate “King for a Day” events at Kings Island and they could create another seven “Andy's Hubs” in Children's Hospitals in Cincinnati and in Texas – which would serve thousands of families with chemotherapy and radiation treatments, physical therapy and the purchase of medical equipment.
“We're appreciative of that,” Andy Dalton said. “Obviously they're helping out a good cause. It's been pretty fun to see the reaction we've gotten.”
At the time of publication, the foundation hopes to hit the $150,000 mark from Bills fans.
"My heart cannot express in words alone how grateful we are," Jordan Dalton said. "Our goal is to never have to turn down a grant application and today we are one step closer to that goal thanks to the Bills fan base."
The foundation seeks to "provide opportunities, support and resources, along with life-changing experiences to seriously ill and physically challenged children and their families."
The Bills announced Sunday night they would be sending wings to the Bengals in appreciation of their win over the Ravens.