If you didn’t see the AFC Divisional playoff game Sunday in Kansas City, it was quite a doozy, but the bigger doozy might have come after.
The Chiefs took the win, and only by the skin of their teeth, coming back in the last 13 seconds of the game to force overtime.
Chiefs fans celebrated after their overtime win in many ways, but one of those ways has massively benefited Buffalo’s Oishei Children’s Hospital: Fans began making donations in increments of $13 -- a salute, if you will, to the last 13 seconds of the regulation.
“Of course it was bittersweet with the loss our Buffalo Bills faced Sunday night, but we were incredibly humbled that fans from a different community were supporting our hospital -- donating to help kids and families we care for here in Western New York,” said Allegra C. Jaros, president of Oishei Children’s Hospital.
The idea was sparked by Brett Fitzgerald, who runs the Chiefs Kingdom Memes Facebook page, where he called on fans for donations.
Fitzgerald originally encouraged fans to donate to Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ charity 15 and Mahomies, which is dedicated to improving the lives of children by supporting initiatives that focus on health, wellness, communities in need of resources and charitable causes.
It wasn’t long before he took to his Facebook page with a change of heart.
“A buddy of mine who was messaging a Bills fan friend of his said if Bills had won, Bills Mafia would likely have been donating to Mahomes’ charity,” he said on his page. “I said, ‘I love that idea’ and immediately changed the donation recommendation to Josh Allen’s charity and donated to it myself.”
The connection? Oishei Children’s Hospital’s Patricia Allen Pediatric Recovery Wing was unveiled to Josh Allen, the Bills quarterback, in November 2021, after the hospital received $1.1 million in donations from Bills fans following the passing of Patricia Allen, Josh’s grandmother.
“The fund supports the critical care team at the hospital and will help ensure our trauma program, emergency department, transport team, oncology program and pediatric ICU have all the tools, talent, training and programs to be ready in the most critical moments for families,” Jaros said. “All funds go directly to supporting clinical care of Buffalo kids, so KC fans will join Bills Mafia in making a difference in our kids’ health outcomes.”
#ChiefsKingdom with some help from @FanDuel has donated an incredible $404,500 from 17,900 generous people! From our team here and the patients we care for, thank you for making an impact in Western New York ❤️ pic.twitter.com/39nUUnJX2R— Oishei Children's Hospital (@OCHBuffalo) January 28, 2022
After an instant classic, a game that will go down as one of the greatest in NFL history, THIS is what we’ll remember the most: Sometimes the power of sports can truly transcend, and be so much bigger than just what’s displayed on the field.