As he’s done his entire football life, Burrow is not sulking. If anything, adversity has always brought out the best in him. Now that he’s channeling his inner Jedi, I say with all due respect to the rest of the NFL, y’all are f*cked.
Joe. Good sir. It’s OK. You don’t need to apologize for sitting out because you shredded your wrist while somehow still throwing a touchdown pass against the reigning AFC No. 1 seed Baltimore Ravens. We were the latest back-breaking Tyler Boyd dropped passaway from probably making the playoffs. Love Tyler, but man. For someone so sure-handed, he sure lets a lot of easy ones get away.
Speaking of wide receivers, when Burrow addressed the media on Monday, he spoke about how, despite his historically large contract extension, he made sure to work in ways to move money around so that the Bengals can keep key pieces of their core in the coming years, such as star wideout and pending free agent Tee Higgins.
“We made sure things were in place that we could if we needed to.”
Joe Burrow answered several questions about Tee Higgins, including, if these kind of roster decisions were taken into consideration when he negotiated his contract. pic.twitter.com/OB7FQXwrlJ
OK but since we’re talking about Joe Burrow and Star Wars here, this is the ultimate intersection of two of my favorite things in life. Return of the Jedi is one of the greatest trilogy cappers in cinema history, if not the best. DID YOU KNOW, though, that George Lucas initially titled it Revenge of the Jedi? There was a poster and a trailer for it and everything.
So while Darth Vader himself did once famously say — minor *SPOILER ALERT* for Star Wars Rebels — in an iconic exchange with his former padawan Ahsoka Tano that “revenge is not the Jedi way”, the headline of this article is a nod to that. Return of the Jedi is more about redemption than revenge, hence Lucas’ change of heart about the title. The line from Rebels is so fitting for the moment, yet so meta at the same time. I won’t elaborate any further for the uninitiated who want to see Star Wars in all its forms someday.
Burrow is channeling that stoic, even-keeled Jedi energy. Not the narrow-minded, dogmatic view of the Force, nor the collective naïveté that led to the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire. The Evil Empire of Bill Belichick’s in New England has fallen. He might be done as the Patriots’ head coach. The future of the AFC runs through Kansas City until further notice, but with Burrow, the Bengals have a chance to rattle off multiple championships.
I’m not ignorant to the fact that Lamar Jackson got injured down the stretch of the last two seasons. Nor do I harbor any disrespect toward the Baltimore Ravens or any of the Bengals’ AFC North rivals for that matter (well, except the Browns for their embrace of Deshaun Watson).
All I’m saying is, if and when Joe Burrow is fully healthy or thereabouts in 2024, he’s going to be as motivated as ever to deliver that long-awaited first Super Bowl to Cincinnati.