Raising money from the bleachers

Fundraising inspiration can spring up in the most interesting of places—like among friendly NFL rivalries!

Buffalo Bills fans donated $350,000 to the foundation of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton after he beat the Baltimore Ravens with a last-minute touchdown pass. The Bengals’ win pushed the Ravens out of the playoffs—and vaulted the Bills in.

Most of the Bills fans’ donations were in the amount of $17, signaling the end of their team’s 17-year playoff drought.

Similarly, Bengals fans paid it forward when the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Bengals’ bitter rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles’ charity was the grateful recipient.

Finally, Minnesota Vikings fans raised over $220,000 for New Orleans Saints punter Thomas Morstead’s charity. Injured in the opening quarter, Morstead showed grit and determination by continuing to play. Then, after Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs won the game in a miracle finish, Morstead was the losing team's first player to come back out of the locker room so the Vikings could kick the extra point and put the win in the books.

The one thing that all sports fans can relate to, no matter who they root for, is the desire to win. In this case, not only did certain teams win; certain charities did, too.

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