Jimmy Burrow is wary of sharing the photo with just anyone, especially a member of the media. He has mostly kept it to himself
and his family. It’s never been published, never been seen by the outside world.
He’s afraid of the optics. After all, he says, what father gives his 7-year-old son a cigar, tells him to pose with it and snaps a photo?
“Is that child abuse?” Jimmy says jokingly. He finally relents and shares the photo through text.
There, in all of its glory, is his son, Joe Burrow, smiling for the camera while donning a red-striped shirt and black jeans,
a basketball positioned under his left tennis shoe, and awkwardly gripping an unlit cigar in his left hand. Wait, wait, Jimmy says. He can explain.
He says the scene is a recreation of a 60-year-old black-and-white photo of himself as a young boy, his foot on a basketball and his hand holding a cigar, this one lit.
Why did Jimmy’s father photograph him with a lit stogie for a portrait that was published in the local newspaper? That’s a story for later.
For now, what has been revealed here is Joe Burrow, Cincinnati’s first-round draft pick and quarterback extraordinaire, has posed for photos with cigars for quite some time.
The nation has only recently taken notice—first, two years ago, when an image of a cigar-smoking Burrow surfaced after LSU’s national championship,
and over the past few weeks, when Burrow lit cigars after the Bengals won the AFC North and later beat the Chiefs to advance to Sunday’s Super Bowl.
The cigar has now become part of Burrow’s identity—a symbol of success, a representation of the smooth and cool quarterback himself.
Fans have gifted Burrow and his family dozens of cigars (Jimmy Burrow keeps a jar of them in his basement).
In fact, just last week, a Bengals fan contacted LSU’s athletic department in an effort to send the quarterback’s family a gift … a cigar.
A Louisiana-based tobacco distributing company is also offering Joe Burrow his own line of smokes,
while former NBA star Karl Malone plans to ship five boxes of his own cigars to the Bengals if they win it all.
“It cracks me up that Joe is known for smoking cigars,” says Dan Burrow, one of Joe’s two older brothers. “I’ve never known him to be a cigar guy.”