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Ohio is famous for many incredible things. Among them: Skyline Chili (I humbly refuse to listen to any negative thing said about this bolognese-adjacent delicacy), fields of six-foot tall cement corn art (shoutout my hometown) and its football teams (you might have heard of THE Ohio State University). One other thing you should know and recognize about the state you shouldn’t flyover, though, is that it breeds fashion icons. LeBron James. Kid Cudi. Sarah Jessica Parker. The list goes on. But a new Ohioan is taking the title as most fashionable and his name is Joe Shiesty.
If you haven’t heard of him before, allow me to briefly introduce you to your new crush and/ or hero. His last name on the birth records is actually Burrow, and he’s the quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals. Now, I’m not here to talk about football. Though, as an Ohioan, I must let you know that I shed a tear watching the team beat Chiefs last night, clinching their spot in the Super Bowl airing Feb. 13. I’m actually here to talk about his post- and pre-game style because that sh*t is icy.
Mr. Brrrrrrow has repeatedly made headlines this year for his lewks, which wholeheartedly deserve to be spelled as such.
Ohio’s Most Beloved is proving that the most fashionable men in sports don’t all play basketball by showing up to press conferences in tiny translucent sunglasses and giving us J. Lo early 2000s music video energy without a warning?? It was such a moment that reporters paused in asking sports questions and inquired about the sunnies. Mr. Burrow’s response?
“No significance. I just think they’re pretty cool.”
Yes, literal king!!! Slay!!!
— Evan Millward (@EvanMillward) January 16, 2022
This wasn’t his first time dipping his feet in the retro glasses water, though. He knew we were hungry pre-Thanksgiving in November and served us a similar look, too.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, though.
He’s worn bold sweat sets better than any off-duty model getting off of planes…
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) November 21, 2021
Proved that green looks best with a statement bag…
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) October 24, 2021
Put the ‘holla’ in holidays in December…
Happy Holla Days from Joe Burrow 🎅
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) December 26, 2021
And he’s shown people everywhere just how sleek a plain well-fitted button-up can look.
However, he saved his best ensemble for the AFC championship. The look he put on was a sight to behold. The black turtleneck, diamond necklace and graphic jacket taught us all a few things in fashion: gold and diamonds are always worth wearing, a black turtleneck is the perfect supporting piece and a jacket can and should be the focal point of a winter ‘fit.
Get you a quarterback who wears Cartier glasses and a championship title will soon follow.
Oh, and his fashion isn’t always just for good looks. Everyone from the midwest knows that Burrow is all about giving back to where he grew up, Athens County, where 20 percent of the population suffers from food insecurity. He’s auctioned off specially designed kicks to raise money for the county’s food pantry, and his constant support and partnership with the pantry has raised more than $650,000 and helped feed nearly 13,000 people. He’s such a big deal to this food pantry that they credit him for consistent donations across the board.
Being from Ohio usually comes with a few connotations that are less-than positive. People think of the state as a dumpy land filled with chain restaurants and simple-minded people. It’s an easy place to make fun of, maybe because Ohioans have those midwestern manners that prevent them from popping judgmental people in the face. I think part of it is because it’s predominantly known thanks to its role in elections and in pop culture. So, if people have to think of a state that’s not their own to dunk on, it might be top of mind.
I get it. This is why having somebody from the state make waves for his style and class is a pretty big deal. Burrow’s style is a visual representation of how people who grew up in poverty-stricken towns that are often ignored by the government, the media and general cultural discourse can become icons in any realm they want—fashion, sports, etc.—if they’re given the chance.
There’s such a deep-rooted love and dimensionality within Ohioans that makes them unlike anybody else. Any time I meet somebody from the state, no matter the circumstance, they welcome me like I’m family. There’s a bond between us that isn’t replicable. It’s not even spoken of, it’s just something that’s inherently there. That kindness and acceptance and recognition.
And yeah, there are a lot of chain restaurants there. Chili’s is delicious. But me and all of the other natives like Burrow know what lives past strip malls. Ohio is filled with hard-working people who aren’t given success or titles. We aren’t given special priority because of who we know or where we come from. We aren’t handed jobs or admissions or praise. We earn these things. Even when we’re the underdogs.