Joe Burrow is driven to deliver the first Vince Lombardi Trophy to the state of Ohio, the state where be blossomed from a prep star into an NFL Pro Bowl quarterback. The Bengals' quarterback is also driven to make a lasting impact in his home state that goes well beyond the football field.
During the 2022 season, Burrow teamed up with Where I'm From to create a clothing line where 100% of the proceeds went to his foundation, whose mission is to provide resources and support to the underprivileged and underserved.
As you can imagine, the clothing sold like hotcakes while generating nearly $66,000 for the foundation. Burrow's foundation re-opened the clothing line on Wednesday, and it will remain open through June 6.
Burrow's foundation recently made headlines when it agreed to pay for 20 local families at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center to receive mental health treatment, as reported by Brandon Sabo, who hosts "The Mental Game" podcast. Burrow's father told Sabo that the foundation couldn't narrow down a list of families who needed help, so they decided to help each of them.
"One mom, one of her comments was it was the best day of her life," said Burrow's dad, Jimmy, who serves as the foundation's vice president. "Those types of things make you really appreciate the fact that we've got this opportunity to help."
Along with her role as an elementary school principal, Burrow's mom, Robin, serves as his foundation's secretary and treasurer. She said her son's passion for helping others may have stemmed from stories he heard when he was growing up in Athens, Ohio.
"When I started teaching, I would come home and tell little stories, just things that were breaking my heart," she recalled. "It's sad when families don't have the resources and don't have the means to be able to get the things that they need. So I think that he heard a lot of those stories and took those stories to heart."
Burrow's passion for helping others is well-known. It was the main focus of his speech upon winning the Heisman Trophy following his prolific 2019 season at LSU. Burrow's speech inspired the creation of a foundation that raised more than $500,000 for the Athens County Food Pantry.
"Coming from southeast Ohio, the poverty rate is almost twice the national average," Burrow said during his speech, via the Sporting News. "There are so many people there who don't have a lot, and I'm up here for all those kids in Athens and Athens County who go home to not a lot of food on the table, hungry after school. You guys can be up here, too."
Along with his work in the community, Burrow continues to make headlines on the football field. He recently created a stir among Bengals fans with his new look upon arriving for the team's voluntary offseason workouts. Along with sporting a new hair style, Burrow also looks noticeably stronger as he prepares to enter his fourth season in Cincinnati.
Bengals fans are hoping Burrow and the Bengals are able to come to terms on a long-term deal sometime this summer. Bengals executive vice president Katie Blackburn said in late March that the two sides have had preliminary talks on an extension.
The 26-year-old quarterback is coming off of a 2022 season that saw him throw for 4,475 yards and 35 touchdowns in 16 games. After a 12-4 regular season, Burrow led the Bengals to playoff wins over the Ravens and Bills. Cincinnati came up just short against the eventual Super Bowl champion Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.
After getting close the past two years, the Bengals are hoping to break through in 2023. Cincinnati made arguably the biggest splash of free agency when it signed three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. In the draft, the Bengals bulked up their defense by using their first three picks to select pass-rusher Myles Murphy, cornerback DJ Turner II and defensive back Jordan Battle. Cincinnati used its middle picks to add depth at skill positions, selecting wideouts Charlie Jones and Andrei Iosivas and running back Chase Brown.
All of these moves were undoubtedly made to help maximize the prime of their quarterback, whose actions off the field are just as impressive as his exploits on it.