Tyler Bass’ miss is the Ten Lives Club’s gain.
Fans donated more than $260,000 to the New York-based cat adoption group endorsed by the Bills kicker in the days after he missed a pivotal field goal a divisional round loss to the Chiefs.
Bass deactivated his social media accounts after the crushing result — with the Ten Lives Club stepping in to defend him as trolls went at him.
“DON’T BULLY OUR FRIEND,” the group posted to its Instagram account on Monday. “We just heard the terrible news that Tyler Bass is receiving threats after yesterday’s game and our phones are ringing off the hook from people who want to donate $22 to Ten Lives Club in Tyler’s name.”
Donations began pouring in late Sunday, with TV cook Rachael Ray and her pet food brand Nutrish together sharing a $30,000 gift.
“We are just mind blown by this generosity,” shelter spokeswoman Kimberly LaRussa told the Associated Press. “Of course, we wish it was under better circumstances. We haven’t spoken to him. But I’m pretty certain that he’s seen what’s going on, and I hope it brings him a smile.”
Bass, who linked up with the feline group two years ago through Show Your Soft Side, a nonprofit that works with athletes and aims to prevent animal abuse, hasn’t addressed the missed kick publicly since his postgame availability.
“I feel terrible, you know? I love this team and it hurts. This one hurts bad,” he said after the game. “It’s a feeling that I can’t even describe. It’s a tough feeling, but you know, just got to keep your head high.”
It’s the latest instance of Bills Mafia showing its appreciation, and it hasn’t been limited to Buffalo players in the past.
In 2018, they thanked then-Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton for helping end their 17-year playoff drought with a game-winning touchdown pass by giving to his foundation.
Two years later, more than $1 million in donations were made to Buffalo’s Oishei Children’s Hospital in honor of quarterback Josh Allen after his grandmother Patricia died.
Ravens QB Lamar Jackson thanked Bills fans after his “Blessings in a Backpack” charity raised over $400,000 after he was injured in a 2020 AFC divisional round loss to Buffalo.
Despite the good deeds, Bills fans may face some stiff competition to be Bass’ biggest supporter.
“I hope this makes him feel better,” LaRussa said. “We just want him to know that Ten Lives Club here is his No. 1 fan, and so are the cats.”