The night Joe Burrow first became a national sensation was Jan. 13, 2020, when he led LSU to the national title in the school’s home state, defeating Clemson in New Orleans. Photos and videos of him smoking a cigar quickly went viral.
He was close to going viral for another reason as he and his teammates celebrated. They nearly ended up in handcuffs.
Burrow, 25, said on the “Full Send Podcast” that police tried arresting LSU players for smoking indoors.
“We were gonna smoke all the cigars in the locker room,” Burrow said. “We started smoking them, and the cops come in because I guess you’re not allowed to smoke inside or whatever, and they start trying to arrest people. After we won the national title. We were like, ‘what’s going on? Come on, guys.’
“This was in Louisiana. We played in New Orleans for the national title. They were trying to (arrest players.) And then I think they finally realized, ‘What are we doing?’”
There was briefly an arrest warrant for Odell Beckham Jr., the former LSU star who was celebrating with the champions that night. Beckham was recorded smacking the butt of a security guard in the locker room, leading to a warrant on a misdemeanor simple battery charge, which was quickly dropped.
Burrow’s profile is even bigger now. He was the No. 1 overall pick by the Bengals in the 2020 NFL Draft, and after tearing his ACL and MCL during his rookie season, led Cincinnati to a Super Bowl appearance three months ago. He’s gone viral for his game-day outfits and has continued to enjoy a celebratory cigar. But Burrow will always remember that night in New Orleans.
“That’s kind of what started it all,” he said.