AP Photo/Keith Srakocic
- Fans of the Cincinnati Bengals are donating to Blake Bortles' charity after the Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback helped eliminate the Pittsburgh Steelers from the playoffs.
- Back in Week 17, Andy Dalton's foundation received a similar rush of donations from fans of the Buffalo Bills.
- Both incidents are part of the newest, and most positive trend you'll find in sports fandom.
The best new trend in sports fandom is back this week, with another fan base donating to a player's foundation as a way of showing thanks for their play on the field.
This time it is the fans of the Cincinnati Bengals who are doing the good deed — donating to the Blake Bortles Foundation to thank the Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback for defeating their division rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, in the playoffs.
Bengals fans were in their own way paying the charity forward. The Bengals upset the Ravens in Week 17 on a miraculous final play, and as a result of the surprising win, the Buffalo Bills were able to sneak into the playoffs, breaking the longest active postseason drought in the NFL.
Bills fans showed their appreciation for Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton by donating to his foundation, and now Bengals fans are doing the same for a quarterback that helped ensure a rival wouldn't make the Super Bowl.
The Blake Bortles Foundation works to support kids and adults intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as first responders in the local community. So far, almost $5,000 in donations have come into the charity since the Jaguars upset win over the Steelers on Sunday.
Bortles was clearly touched by the outreach as he spoke with First Coast News about the rush of donations.
"Fans are at the core of the football experience and it's truly exciting and rewarding when they band together, regardless of the team they cheer for, to make a positive impact in the lives of others. I greatly appreciate the support displayed by Bengals fans and they should know their support will make a difference," said Bortles.
Bortles and the Jaguars will head to Foxborough to play in the AFC Championship against the New England Patriots. Should they be able to pull out a win, it wouldn't be surprising to see a few more fan bases chip in to help support Bortles good works.