Jan 26, 2023 - Sports

🏈 An Ohioan worth rooting for

Joe Burrow in a Bengals hoodie before an NFL playoff game.

Photo: Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

👋 Tyler here. Back when Bengals QB Joe Burrow was in high school, I heard a story that he battled in a marathon game of Risk that lasted nearly an entire day.

  • When Burrow finally lost, so the apocryphal story goes, he immediately reset the board and demanded a rematch.

Flashback: I thankfully got to witness that competitiveness up close as a news reporter and sports broadcaster in his hometown while Burrow was the star of Athens High School.

State of play: Already a Buckeyes commit, Burrow received loads of attention during his magical senior season that ended with a heartbreaking loss in the state championship game.

Between the yard lines: I'm not a Bengals fan, but I still root for Burrow to succeed because he never forgot where he came from.

  • He memorably used his Heisman Trophy win to highlight the issue of rural poverty in Ohio and has since launched a foundation to help children dealing with mental illness and food insecurity.

What's next: A year out from losing the Super Bowl, Burrow is now a win away from reaching the big game twice in his three NFL seasons. He's also a finalist for AP's Most Valuable Player.

  • Who's surprised? Whether in football or board games, the kid from Athens County is always eager for another chance at victory.

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