Honestly, the Wink Martindale comment wasn’t that bad. Yes, the Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator was being sarcastic and arguably snarky when he said he’s not ready to buy a gold jacket for Joe Burrow just yet. But, as Burrow himself said, the quarterback is only in his second year and has a ways to go before being crowned a Hall of Famer.
But after Burrow presented a logical response to that comment, he then responded to a question of whether that was on his mind during his record-breaking 525 yard game with a smirk and, “Maybe.”
In other words, you can just throw logic out the door when it comes to Cincinnati’s franchise quarterback. Don’t you dare doubt Joe Burrow and where he’s going. Yes, he’s not there yet, but if you can’t see his bright future right now, he will hold your face up to the blazing sun of his potential.
So what if Baltimore was forced to start practice squad CBs and a journeyman quarterback? You thought that meant Burrow wouldn’t run up the score against ‘ol Winky? He will absolutely step on your throat if you decide to show him the slightest amount of disrespect.
Fortunately, ESPN recently aired The Last Dance, giving younger generations the opportunity to see just how insanely competitive Michael Jordan was. The clips of him taking things personally show his pettiness but also a sort of drive that fueled him beyond the rewards of the normal recognition for a superstar.
Joe Burrow seems to have taken that mentality and made it his own. Sunday’s dominant performance against the Ravens wasn’t just about the box score. It was about the sheer ruthlessness of the down-the-field throws late in the fourth quarter and the shrug that followed one of them (at the 0:10 mark):
Burrow eclipses 500 yards with less than 2 mins left in the game with a 50-yard pass to Mixon. Shrugs as he jogs down the field pic.twitter.com/Xkk84cbIHT— Main Team (@MainTeamSports2) December 26, 2021
The shrug was the perfect cherry on top of a masterful performance, and it inspired some pretty sweet gear. Check out these stylish t-shirts and hoodies of the Joe Burrow shrug right here.
For those who don’t remember, Jordan, for whom three point shooting was perhaps the only weakness in his game, famously shrugged after torching the Portland Trailblazers with six threes in the first half of an NBA Finals game back in 1992. This was against a team that featured another MVP candidate, Clyde Drexler, who was known for his three point shooting.
In that same vein, the knock on Burrow has always been arm strength. On that deep shot to Joe Mixon, the ball traveled about 50 yards through the air. The shrug, then, was a sort of wink (no pun intended) directed at the quarterback’s critics.
While Burrow has amazing accuracy, a coach’s understanding of schemes and how a game unfolds, and top-notch navigation of the pocket, it may be his undying obsession with proving how great he is that pushes him and the Bengals over the top and into a different register of NFL franchises for the foreseeable future. An absolute dream come true for Bengals fans.
You can watch our takes on Burrow’s performance and his Jordan-like demeanor as well as a preview of the upcoming showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs in the video below:
You can also listen on iTunes or using the player below: