Dan Hoard may have left Western New York before the Drought ever started, but the Voice of the Bengals on the team's radio network was well aware how the outcome of the Baltimore-Cincinnati game could affect the postseason fate of his hometown Bills.
Hoard was raised in Lakewood, a few miles west of Jamestown, and attended Southwestern High before going on to study at Syracuse University.
"Having grown up in Western New York, I was acutely aware that people back home were on pins and needles scoreboard watching throughout the game," said Hoard, who has been with the Bengals since 2011. "We were frequently watching not only knowing the Bengals could knock the Ravens out but propel Buffalo in. That was a major part of the broadcast."
Text messages started flooding Hoard's phone as soon as Cincinnati receiver Tyler Boyd crossed the goal line on the 49-yard touchdown catch on fourth down that not only eliminated Baltimore from the playoffs, but also clinched Buffalo's first postseason appearance since 1999.
"Honestly, in the moment, I just try to describe it as accurately as I can," Hoard said. "Immediately the texts started coming in from friends and family from Buffalo. It was, 'Thank you Bengals, Who Dey, Who Dey, Who Dey!' It was almost as if they were thanking me, like I had anything to do with it."
— Dan Hoard (@Dan_Hoard) January 1, 2018
Much like the rest of Buffalo, Hoard hasn't been able to get enough of the celebration videos, of players and fans, making their rounds on social media.
"I've been bingeing on YouTube videos of the players going bonkers in the locker room," Hoard said. "It's pretty addicting."
"I think it's tremendous. God love Bills fans," Hoard said. "It's so great that they're channeling their joy and doing something positive for Andy's charity. Andy joked in the locker room today that he's the hottest guy in Buffalo right now."
Plus, now Hoard has some rooting interest next week.
"Once the Bengals are eliminated, I usually root against whoever plays Pittsburgh," Hoard said. "Now instead of being mister negative, I can root for a team instead of against it."
Story topics: Dan Hoard