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The Bills’ playoff gift keeps making me think of Torii Hunter’s champagne generosity

By Derek Wetmore

The Bills made the playoffs and will play the Jaguars on Sunday and by now you may have heard the story of the gifted wings.

As in, the Buffalo Bills sent a more than 1,400 chicken wings to the Cincinnati Bengals as a gift to say ‘Thanks for beating the Ravens.’ The Bengals beat the Ravens in the final week of the season, which was necessary for the Bills to make the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

The first time I saw the story the whole thing reminded of when Torii Hunter tried to gift some champagne to the then-hapless Royals for their part in helping out the Twins reach the 2006 postseason with some late-season wins. The Twins won, and celebrated when their rivals lost to Kansas City, securing the American League Central division for Minnesota.

According to an ESPN report at the time of Hunter’s gift the following spring, baseball rules state that “Any player or person connected with a Club who shall offer or give any gift or reward to a player or person connected with another Club for services rendered … in defeating or attempting to defeat a competing Club … shall be declared ineligible for not less than three years.”

The violation was pointed out and the Royals apparently were asked to return to the bottles of Dom Perignon. I was younger at the time and I remember thinking it was a silly rule to enforce for a funny and harmless display of appreciation. The league, at least under Bud Selig, must not have seen it that way. If I remember the story correctly, the Twins had to call the Royals and honest-to-goodness ask them for the bottles back. That’s the version of the story that survives in my memory, anyway.

As for the Bills gifted wings, I haven’t read anything suggesting that they’re breaking NFL rules or that they’ll be punished for it. And I can imagine why they would. It’s probably a good promotional opportunity for the wings place in New York that’s gifting the food to an NFL organization. Free publicity. But don’t be too cynical about it, since the Bengals apparently are donating the gift to the Children’s Home Autism High School, according to reports.

And Bengals QB Andy Dalton apparently has raised more than $300,000 for his charitable foundation, presumably including a lot of donations from elated Bills fans. And Tyler Boyd, who caught a late touchdown pass to help knock the Ravens out of the playoffs, has reportedly received more than $50,000 for his charity of choice, the Western Pennsylvania Youth Athletic Association.

The post The Bills’ playoff gift keeps making me think of Torii Hunter’s champagne generosity appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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