Friday, November 7, 2014

Great Play: Bengals Support Devon Still & Daughter

This what a real man looks like. Devon Still caring for
his daughter Leah who has cancer.
Their organization may have been known as the Bungles for many years due to their woes, but not only are they getting better on the field, but their management is showing ability to be good - and do good. This year they showed that rare ability to look beyond a winning roster an care for their players when they helped out Devon Still. Still was drafted by the Bengals in 2012 and played two season, but was not able to make the roster this year due to an injury. Still, however, needed the benefits of being a player - for his daughter Leah who was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma stage 4 cancer and he needed the insurance to pay for her care. In a total class move, the Bengals signed him to their practice squad. position on the practice squad so that he could continue to pay for his daughter's cancer treatments. They also kept his jersey available to buy to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer research and the Cincinnati Children's Hospital which so far has exceeded over $1 million.


As a member of the practice squad, Still was able to keep health insurance benefits, was paid, and his did not have to travel with the team on road trips so he could be with his daughter. But it gets better. Still eventually was able to return to the team's active roster and last night, during the November 5 game versus in-state rivals the Browns, Leah was well enough after surgery and recovery to come see her dad play. At the game the Bengals presented a check for more than $1 million to the Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Leah's name.

Other NFL people got invovled as well. New Orleans Saints head coach, Sean Payton bought 100 jerseys and distributed them to the local Boys & Girls Club and the Cincinnati Children's Hospital and on October 5, 2014 during a game between the Bengals and the New England Patriots at the Pats' Gillette Stadium, they showed support for Leah in various ways, and it was even reported that Patriots owner Robert Kraft was donating $25,000 to Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Leah's name.

Though the jersey sales donations ended October 20 so they could present the check, the Bengals are still promoting helping via a PLDGIT campaign which you can contribute to here.

Still's devotion to his daughter, and the Bengals' devotion to their player, is inspiring especially among the many not-so-great stories of player, team, and league behavior of the past year. Great Play Bengals!