- The Washington Times
Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Following their team’s 33-27 overtime loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday, Buffalo Bills fans were not happy with the officials.

Multiple missed pass interference calls — in the opinion of Bills fans — potentially cost the team a much-needed comeback win over the defending Super Bowl champs.

Some in the fan base, however, turned their frustration at the referees into a good cause. Members of Bills Mafia are donating $17 to Visually Impaired Advancement of Western New York — $17 for quarterback Josh Allen, who wears No. 17, and a nonprofit dedicated to the visually impaired because the fans believe Scott Novak’s officiating crew suffered from a lack of eyesight on Sunday.

“It is saddening to witness someone being unable to see the blatant pass interference on [Bills wide receiver] Stefon Diggs,” Hunter S. wrote in his donation. “Hopefully, this donation is a small step in the greater fight of fighting blindness and getting those with visual impairment the help they need so something like this never happens again.”

“Thank you, Bills Mafia members, for donating $17,” tweeted VIA. “While we recognize that NFL referees are not visually impaired, $17 makes an impact on VIA to help individuals who are visually impaired.”

As of Wednesday morning, Bills fans had donated $18,000 to VIA. 

The philanthropic efforts of the Bills fan base isn’t new. After Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton threw a game-winning touchdown pass to beat Baltimore in 2017 to vault Buffalo into the playoffs, fans rushed to donate money to Dalton’s charity. They did the same for Lamar Jackson’s charity after he was injured in the Baltimore-Buffalo playoff game last season. 

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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