Awards 2014: Biggest Heart (Team)

Devon Still. (Stephan Savoia/AP)

And the award goes to…Cincinnati Bengals

For once, a football team earning praise for its behaviour off the field: In June, Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still learned his four-year-old daughter, Leah, had Stage 4 neuroblastoma,
a form of cancer; she was given a 50-50 chance to live. While Cincinnati cut Still in the off-season, they put him on the practice squad so he could retain his health insurance. Then the Bengals went further, putting Still’s jersey on sale (a rarity for a practice-squad player) and donating the proceeds to pediatric cancer research and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. They sold more than 15,000, and before a game in November the Bengals handed the Children’s Hospital a cheque for $1.3 million. Leah, six weeks into recovery from surgery to remove her tumour, was on the field for the ceremony. Her dad was there, too—Devon had earned a spot on the Bengals’ active roster.

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