Cincinnati Bengals center Ted Karras has become a fan favorite through his time in Cincinnati. Before The Cincy Hat took the fan base by storm, Karras made his way in to the hearts of fans everywhere after giving the Tennessee Titans a piece of his mind on his way off the field.
Fast-forward a year later, and The Cincy Hat has eclipsed $1 million in sales. Every dollar of those proceeds has been donated back to The Village of Merici in Karras’ hometown of Indianapolis. The Village of Merici provides independent housing, job assistance, and support to adults with developmental disabilities.
The success of the hat and his charity among Bengals fans landed Karras in the race for Walter Payton Man of the Year. Part of the voting is done on Twitter, and to say Bengals fans responded is an understatement. It has been hard to open the timeline in the last month without seeing #WPMOYChallenge Karras dozens of times.
It has paid off. Karras has won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Fan Vote, the Bengals announced.
As a result of his victory, Karras has earned a $35,000 donation to The Village of Merici and is a finalist to win the award overall when it is announced next month.
A great cause, a great person, and a great fan base all came together and not only won an award but helped a great cause in the process.