With all the negative attention surrounding the NFL this week with the Ray Rice scandal, how about an NFL story that shows the best side of fans and NFL pros?
This certainly is a feel-good story to get rid of some of the bad "icky" surrounding the NFL and make you do the celebratory and happy "Ickey Shuffle" instead.
Defensive tackle Devon Still was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2012 and played in 18 games for the Bengals since then. This year however, he's not lived up to his full potential on the field this preseason and he knows it.
He's admitted that football can't be his main focus at this point in his life, because of some terrible news he received a mere two months ago.
Normally, when a player falls short like this, the team simply cuts him from the roster and moves on to fill the spot with a stronger competitor. But the team recognized that defensive lineman Still has a pretty good reason for his off-field distractions.
So instead cutting him and severing all ties, the Bengals organization did something very special, and so did fans nationwide.
The Bengals added Still to the 2014 practice squad, where he will continue to receive a $100,000 salary, along with health benefits for his family. And it is that health insurance that is a real game-changer.
See, a couple of months ago, his 4-year-old daughter, Leah, was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma cancer. It's a rare disease and she was given a 50-50 chance to live. Keeping Still on the roster provides her lifesaving treatment.
"I debated with myself whether I was going to post anything on social media but I felt it would be beneficial for my family..last night I found out my daughter has cancer...I decided to let ppl know not for sympathy because I've come to the point where I no longer feeling sorrow but to ask that y'all keep my daughter in your prayers the more prayers that go up the more faith we habe that she will overcome this obstacle...if y'all know me y'all know this girl is my world I know that she is strong and she won't let anything hold her down without a fight..thanks everyone for the continued support of my family."
The photo went viral and then Still and his family received a huge wave of support from the city of Cincinnati and Bengals fans across the country. And as we've seen with the Ice Bucket Challenge, people are eager to help out a good cause.
With that in mind, the Bengals announced they would donate 100% of proceeds from Still's jersey sales to Cincinnati's Children's Hospital pediatric cancer care research. Normally, players on the practice squad would never have their jerseys for sale in team stores. Not true for Still.
Less than 24 hours later, Still's jersey - who is neither a superstar or proven fan-favorite like Andy Dalton or A.J. Green - has become the fastest-selling Bengals jersey in a 24-hour period of all time. There were even points in the day where the team's online store had crashed because it couldn't handle all of the traffic. Wow!
Note: Just this morning, the Bengals announced that Still had been added to the 53-man roster. Here's what Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis said in a statement:
"We think Devon is ready to rejoin our line rotation and be productive. It already was stated that a big reason Devon opened on the practice squad was that he couldn't fully focus on football this preseason. He had to take care of his daughter. But Devon has told us he feels ready to contribute now, so it's the right move at the right time. And we've told Devon he can still be afforded the personal time he needs to attend to his daughter's care."
With the move to the 53-man roster, his salary will be bumped up and will ensure that he has the NFL's insurance to pay for his daughter's treatments, which could reach $1 million.
He started a donation program for his daughter too, which you can visit by clicking here. The website allows people to donate money for every sack the Bengals defense gets this season.