News, Sports

Bills Fans Help Bengals Charity

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Cincinnati Bengals quarterback, Andy Dalton, playing against the Washington Redskins in a preseason game on August 27, 2017. Image: Keith Allison

A very unusual thing happened in a football game, and it’s going to help the families of some ill and physically challenged kids.

The Buffalo Bills football team hasn’t been in the playoffs for a long time. In fact, the last time was in 2000–more than 17 years ago. They were the last team in any of the four major sports in North America (football, baseball, basketball, hockey) to make the playoffs in the 21st Century. Now that’s a drought!*

But that all changed this year and the Buffalo Bills got to go to the playoffs.

But it nearly didn’t happen. In order to make the playoffs, another team, the Cincinnatti Bengals, needed to win an important game against the Baltimore Ravens.

In the fourth quarter of the Bengals/Ravens game, the Ravens were ahead. It looked like the end for the Bills (and the Bengals). There were only 44 seconds left in the game, and the Bengals were losing.

But then, something amazing happened. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton made a huge, 49-foot pass, which was caught by Tyler Boyd for a touchdown.

Against all odds, the Bengals won the game.

Andy Dalton’s amazing pass won the Bengals’ game. So, the Buffalo Bills really had (rival) Andy Dalton to thank for their playoff spot, and the Bills’ fans knew it. To thank Dalton, Bills fans, known jokingly as “The Bills Mafia,” began donating money to a charity Dalton and his wife, Jordan, started. The charity, the Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation, helps children who are seriously ill or who have physical challenges.

The Bills fans didn’t just donate money. They donated a lot of money! In fact, they more than doubled the amount the charity normally gets in a whole year. Many of the Bills fans were in Buffalo, but many of them lived outside of the US; the foundation received money from many countries including Germany and Italy.

So far, Bills fans have given more than $350,000 to the charity.

*A “drought” usually means a lack of water. In this case, however, it means a long period of time without getting to play in the playoffs.

Related Links
Read more about the charity and the things it does to help kids and families, here.

Article in the Buffalo News from a conversation with Andy Dalton, expressing gratitude to Bills fans.

ESPN video about the donations.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Have you ever heard of a win-win? That’s a situation when two groups benefit in some way. In this story, both the Bengals and the Bills won because of Andy Dalton’s amazing pass. In fact, you could even call this situation a win-win-win because the Bengals, Bills and the charity all benefitted!

Can you think of a situation in your life or in the news where there was a win-win-win?

Reading Prompt: Extending Understanding
The Daltons’ charity helps a lot of people. Using the two stories in the Related Links, make a list of all the things the charity does to help kids and their families.

Think of two other charities that you know. What do they do and who do they help?

Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them  (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Language Feature: Story structure
There is a lot of drama in this story and the journalist, Grant, does an excellent job at creating a structure that builds excitement in the reader.

Divide this story into the beginning, middle and end. What does Grant focus on in each of these sections? In which section  does she build the most excitement?