Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals are playing in the team’s first AFC Championship game since 1989 Sunday.
Joe is leading the team on a historic playoff run in just his second professional season. His dad, Jim Burrow, told our news partners at 10TV that this has been his son’s goal from the beginning.
“That’s been his goal since he started playing football, was to get to this point [and] get to the Super Bowl,” Burrow said.
Jim said his son’s national championship at LSU was a “big goal for him” and this playoff push is the next step.
Joe followed in his father footsteps by pursuing football. Jim was a start player for Nebraska, drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 1976 and later played in the Canadian Football League before transitioning to coaching. He spent time at Washington State, Iowa State and Ohio University as a coach, according to 10TV.
Despite his football background, Jim told the station that he still gets anxious on game days. He said seeing his son get hit, especially following a season-ending injury in his rookie season, makes he and his wife, Robin, cringe.
When he returned to camp this season, Jim said his son told him something he’d said ahead of his championship season at LSU.
“He said during camp after they added some pieces on both sides of the ball, ‘we’re going to be really good and we’ll have a chance to make the playoff and stay healthy as a team,’” he told the station.
Jim said that the team shares that mentality with Joe and they are in the position they expected to be in.
It has been exciting for Jim to see all the attention his son and the team have gotten, especially since he was raised in southeast Ohio.
“It’s overwhelming at times to both of us, every time we see thousands of Joe Burrow jerseys at Paul Brown Stadium and there’s still a lot of them out there at the away games,” Jim said. “It’s still hard for us to really put our heads around it and say this is happening to our son but just really, really proud of Joe.”
As Joe and the Bengals chase down the franchise’s first Super Bowl appearance in 33 years, Jim said his son is appreciative of all the support.
“He appreciates everybody’s support in Athens, The Plains, southeast Ohio and the whole state of Ohio,” Jim said.
The Bengals will face off against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Sunday in Kansas City. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. and the game will air on WHIO-TV.
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