Buffalo Bills fans, grateful to Cincinnati Bengals quarterback and TCU-alum Andy Dalton for securing a win Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens and thereby helping the Bills earn their first playoff berth since 1999, have donated more than $100,000 to Dalton's children's charity as a thank you.
In a video posted to Twitter Tuesday morning, Dalton thanked approximately 4,500 Bills fans who have generously donated to his charity and said he'd provide another update later in the day.
Dalton's new fanbase in Buffalo is the result of Sunday's Bengals-Ravens game in which the quarterback directed a game-winning drive in the final minute.
With 44 seconds left on the clock Sunday, Dalton threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd lifting the Bengals over the Ravens. The Bengals' win, or more the Ravens' loss, allowed the Buffalo Bills to secure the final wild-card spot in the AFC.
The Bills are now going to the playoffs for the first time in nearly two decades, ending the longest active postseason drought in North America's four major professional sports.
"We were looking for a miracle, and the miracle was Andy Dalton," said Mike Cipriani, vice president of DFW Bills Backers and a Buffalo native who has lived in North Texas for 20 years.
"We can't get the smiles off of our face," said Buffalo native Michael Baszczynski, who has lived in North Texas since 2014.
In return, Bills fans have been showing their appreciation to Dalton by donating to the foundation started by the former TCU star and his wife, the Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation.
According to its website, the foundation says its mission is provide support and resources to seriously ill and physically challenged children and their families in Cincinnati and Fort Worth.
"I think I'm the hottest guy in Buffalo right now," Dalton told the Associated Press Monday. "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."
Overnight Monday and into Tuesday the donations have continued to climb; at one point the foundation said they were receiving as many as 10 donations a minute.
"The kids are probably the most important part of it," Cipriani said.
Cook Children's is one of the hospital the money benefits. The foundation provides activities and support for children and their families.
"We want to make sure that while they are here, especially from a children's standpoint, from a patient and their siblings, that they are still able to be kids," said Natalie Houghton, manager of annual giving at the Cook Children's Health Foundation.
The Bengals, who finished third in the AFC-North with a 7-9 record, did not make the playoffs. Buffalo (9-7) plays Jacksonville (10-6) at noon Sunday.