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It was an astonishing moment during Sunday’s AFC Wild Card game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens.
Football fans around the country all joined in a resounding, “No way!” when Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard recovered a Ravens fumble on the 2-yard line and ran it all the way back for a 98-yard Bengals touchdown.
The touchdown was an emotional turn of events as it helped lead the Bengals to a 24-17 win over the Ravens to advance to the AFC Divisional round.
And now, Bengals fans are showing their appreciation to Hubbard by donating to his foundation.
THE OUTPOURING OF SUPPORT HAS BEEN HUGE
Donations have been pouring into Hubbard’s Foundation since his monumental fumble return, many coming in under 98 denominations to commemorate the 98-yard return.
As of yesterday, the foundation received over $18 thousand in donations from fans and some companies. One Cleveland shirt company is even taking a famous line from Forrest Gump and changing it to honor Hubbard with “Run, Hubbard, Run!” t-shirts. A portion of the proceeds will go to the foundation.
HUBABRD’S 98-YARD FUMBLE RETURN HELPED THE BENGALS WIN
After the Bengals victory, Hubbard spoke with reporters about his playoff-changing play. “You just gotta rise to the occasion. I’m glad to be that guy that made a play to kind of change the momentum,” the defensive end said..
It also doesn’t hurt that Hubbard is just an all-around nice guy as well and someone that people want to help. He has been nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award twice. The honor is given to a player who is “recognized for his excellence on and off the field,” through their philanthropy and community impact.
THE BENGALS FACE THE BILLS THIS SUNDAY
Now, fans are paying it forward and showing their appreciation for Hubbard.
It’s the latest act by NFL fans in the last few years where players are being shown appreciation through donations to their charities. When Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin terrifyingly collapsed on the field a few weeks back, tens of thousands of people donated to his charity to show their support. Donations also went to Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s charity when he suffered a concussion earlier this season.
When former Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw a touchdown pass to help beat the Ravens and send the Bills to the playoffs in 2018, Bills fans flooded his foundation with hundreds of thousands of dollars to say thank you.
It’s an act of good will that everyone can get behind. Donating to a good cause while also being a football fan? It’s a win all around.
Bills fans, however, may be a little less forthcoming this coming Sunday. That’s because the Bills will host Hubbard and Cincinnati in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.