Bengals vs. Bills to be played in friendly spirit
Fans of the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills will be enemies for roughly three hours on Sunday, but the two fan bases share many commonalities and good will.
Being in the same conference but not the same divison means the Bengals and Bills only play each other on a semi regular basis. When they do, you get a pair of fan bases that are eerily similar.
Considering Bills fans put themselves through tables on a regular basis, Buffalo may have a slight edge on Cincinnati in terms of loyalty. Still, both fan bases are fiercely loyal, exist within two of the NFL’s smaller markets, and have experienced a lot more heartbreak than triumph over the years.
Those similarities always existed, but were brought to the forefront in the final week of the 2017 regular season. Andy Dalton threw a touchdown pass in the final minute to knock off the Ravens. Cincinnati was already eliminated from playoff contention.
However, the Bills had the longest playoff appearance drought in the sport at the time. Cincinnati’s upset allowed that drought to end. The Bengals were and are no strangers to similar droughts. So, it was somewhat fitting for them to end one for another team.
It is what happened after the Bengals helped Buffalo in the playoffs that is still being talked about even in the lead up to this week’s game. The charity bearing Dalton’s name received a $57,000 uptick in donations in the 24 hours after the game. Much of that came in $17 increments from Buffalo fans donating a dollar for every year of Buffalo’s playoff drought. Dalton also got a standing ovation when he came to Buffalo the following preseason.
This story will have no effect on the outcome of Sunday’s game. Even so, every fan base in sports has its fair share of scumbags. We hear about their antics all too often. Thus, when a chance comes along to remember or point out something good happening between NFL teams and fans, someone should do so.