The Buffalo Bills ended the season with a frustrating overtime finish against the Houston Texans on wild-card weekend. It was a disappointing end to a season fans enjoyed overall. These Bills put a lot in this year and got more in return than anyone expected.
Quarterback Josh Allen, especially, fed off of the famously dedicated Buffalo fanbase. In fact, he knowingly shaved off a chunk of his paycheck just to show appreciation for the #Billsmafia.
How Josh Allen showed love to upper-deck fans
The 2019 Bills had something to prove and made their point within the first six games. The crucial turning point: Their October 20, 2019 game against the Miami Dolphins. This meant the Bills managed a 5-1 record for the first time since 2008.
Despite the Dolphins’ ongoing misfortune as a team, they were on point that day. Allen threw in two fourth-quarter touchdowns to flip the narrative. Then he ran in the two-point conversion. Bills lead, 17-14, late.
Allen was feeling himself, but more importantly, the raucous crowd of Bills fans. To show his love to the crowd, he belted a home-run arc of a pass up to the upper deck. It nearly flew out of the stadium entirely, landing past the 200 level.
“The fans in the upper deck were yelling loudly all day, so I wanted to throw them a souvenir,” Allen told the Democrat and Chronicle. It was a generous gesture — not least because Allen definitely knew the NFL would come at him for doing it.
Why the NFL fines for throwing footballs near fans
The NFL has a strict policy on throwing game balls into the stands. Some persistent rumors say passing any balls to fans at all leads to fines, causing some fans to be critical of the policy. Players like Cam Newton regularly hand off game balls to children. Who could justify penalizing him for that?
Thankfully, the truth is more sensible. The NFL does not want fans getting into conflicts over balls thrown their way. Newton’s Sunday Giveaway program doesn’t clash with this at all.
Allen, barring an appeal, knew he’d lose exactly $7,017 for giving those upper-deck fans a rare shot at a game ball. If he does it again, it’ll cost an eye-watering $14,037.
Notable players who ‘pulled a Josh Allen’ with their fans
Josh Allen isn’t alone in choosing to launch a ball into the stands as a form of celebration.
When Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews hit a game-winning touchdown against the Cowboys, he quickly celebrated with a line drive to the fans. He saved a little compared to Allen, as the fine was $5,787 back then.
Matthews didn’t think about it too hard in this case. It was more of a spur-of-the-moment choice. “Right after I did it, I was like, ‘I hope they don’t fine me,'” Matthews told NBC Sports.
Sunday’s Super Bowl LIV will play host to Allen’s fellow offender, QB Jimmy Garoppolo. The San Francisco 49ers star celebrated his team’s Week 17 victory over Seattle with a sharp throw to an SF fan in the Seahawks’ home crowd.
The fan traveled up from San Jose for the game. Garoppolo spotted the colors, made the kind of throw only a pro QB could make, and the fan thankfully handled the pass beautifully. Like Allen’s incident, it’s a heartwarming way to lose $7,000.
Follow more updates from Sportscasting on our Facebook page.