Since arriving in Cincinnati, Joe Burrow has become the unequivocal face of the franchise for the Bengals, leading the team from the worst record in the league to a division championship and playoff berth in two short years.
But while Burrow has won fans over with his MVP-caliber play on the field, he's also become admired for his honest, relatable, conversation-starting commentary off the field.
As the Bengals look to end a 31-year playoff win drought Saturday, The Enquirer looked back at some of the most memorable quotes from their star quarterback since he set foot in the Queen City a short time ago.
'This isn't peewee'
Full quote: "This is the NFL. This isn’t peewee, this isn’t high school where you go out and run up the score. You play until the final whistle. I don’t care what the score is. We’ve been in spots where teams go out and do that to us. They did it to us last year. No sympathy from me."
Date: Dec. 26, 2021
Context: Donning a Santa hat the day after Christmas during a game in which he threw for a Bengals-record 525 yards, Burrow was asked about throwing the ball late against the Ravens in a blowout game. He offered no apologies.
'I'm up here for all those kids'
Full quote: "Coming from southeast Ohio it's a very impoverished area and the poverty rate is almost two times the national average. There's so many people there that don't have a lot and I'm up here for all those kids in Athens and Athens County that go home to not a lot of food on the table, hungry after school. You guys can be up here, too."
Date: Dec. 14, 2019.
Context: Though not yet a Bengal, Burrow had already become the presumed No. 1 pick when he went to New York City to accept the Heisman Trophy, college football's top honor. During an impassioned acceptance speech, Burrow put the focus on his upbringing in southeast Ohio, detailing the struggles many people face in Athens County. The address brought natives of his hometown to tears. His speech led the county to raise more than $500,000 for its food pantry.
'F it, Ja'Marr's down there somewhere'
Full quote: “Everyone knows that meme, you know…'F it, Ja’Marr’s down there somewhere, I’m just gonna throw it up to him and he’s gonna make a play.'"
Date: Jan. 2, 2021.
Context: Asked about his rapport with Ja'Marr Chase, the rookie wide receiver who later broke the Bengals single-season record for receiving yards previously held by Chad Johnson, Burrow joked that there was truth to an internet meme suggesting he can just throw it anywhere downfield to the talented wideout. The comments came after a huge win against the Kansas City Chiefs to clinch the AFC North.
'I was scared of everything growing up'
Full quote: "I was scared of everything growing up. I still don't like scary movies. I don't like haunted houses or anything like that, but I couldn't watch Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, House. I was like, strictly a SpongeBob, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon kinda guy."
Date: Nov. 11, 2020.
Context: During a media session following the Bengals first win of Burrow's rookie season, the quarterback was asked a light-hearted question about why he was scared of the TV show House. The short answer was the kid who grew up in southeast Ohio was scared of everything except cartoons on kid-friendly networks. Burrow's affinity for SpongeBob was on display at LSU when he wore SpongeBob-themed Vans to the team's championship parade. He was also slimed by teammate CJ Uzomah when a SpongeBob mascot visited Cincinnati to present him with the Nickelodeon MVP award for his performance in Week 16 against the Ravens.
'Not a ton to do in Cincinnati'
Full quote: "We're a healthy team, which not a lot of people can say this far into the season. We've been lucky as far as injuries and COVID. We're doing a great job with our COVID protocols. Fortunately, there's not a ton to do in Cincinnati ... so nobody's going out to clubs and bars and getting COVID every weekend."
Date: Dec. 22, 2021.
Context: Speaking with reporters about how the Bengals have been able to stay healthy as a string of players across the league dealt with COVID-19 protocols, Burrow joked Cincinnati's nightlife has helped the Bengals avoid the spread of the virus. The quote blew up social media with many commenters agreeing with Burrow and others taking offense to the comment.
'Gets way louder in the SEC than in any of these NFL stadiums.'
Full quote: "We knew that they were gonna be jacked up for us to come in, and expecting to beat our ass. But we were ready for it. Playing in the SEC definitely, definitely helped. Gets way louder in the SEC than in any of these NFL stadiums.”
Date: Oct. 24, 2021.
Context: Asked by NBC Sports' Peter King about playing in front of a rambunctious crowd during an intense divisional matchup, Burrow said his experience playing in the premier college football conference prepared him for what any NFL stadium could throw at him.
'It's not real chili'
Full quote: “Oh, God. I hate it. Cincinnati’s gonna hate me. I hate that stuff. It's not real chili. It's just sauce. I mean they've hated me for a while because I've had these takes since like I first got to Ohio State. And they're like, ‘What do you mean? You're from Ohio,' and I’m like, 'Doesn’t matter. I hate it.'"
Date: Jan. 10, 2020.
Context: During an appearance on Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast, Burrow, who had just won a national championship with the LSU Tigers and was bound to soon be selected No. 1 overall by the Bengals, was asked about cuisines in Ohio versus Louisiana. The Heisman winner made his thoughts known about Skyline Chili when asked. He later said he was willing to give the restaurant another chance.
'I'm just unapologetically myself'
Full quote: "I just work really, really hard every day, and I think that probably rubs off on people. I’m just unapologetically myself, and I think that’s a good thing and people respect that."
Date: April 23, 2020.
Context: Addressing the media for the first time since he officially became a Bengal, Burrow said his upbringing and his time spent at both Ohio State and LSU allowed him to develop leadership skills where he can connect with anybody. The franchise was immediately impressed by his intangibles both on and off the field.
While Burrow has filled the airwaves with memorable soundbite after soundbite since arriving in Cincinnati, his father, Jimmy Burrow may claim the title for best quote in the family. Speaking to 104.5 FM ESPN Radio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Jimmy Burrow joked that his son's contract with the Bengals, worth more than $36 million, was great because "We finally got him outta our basement."