Fans in Athens County hold tailgate for Joe Burrow

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ATHENS, OH — All season long the southeast Ohio community has rallied around their hometown hero, Joe Burrow.

For another Saturday afternoon, fans tailgated to root for Burrow and the LSU Tigers. If this tailgate is any indication of the impact that Burrow has made in the Athens, OH community, Joe Burrow is indeed Mr. Southeast Ohio.

“He means hope. He means life,” Christ Community Wesleyan church member Teresa Kirkendall said. “There’s a lot of people around here who don’t have much. Joe has come from a small town. He’s very humble. He’s very genuine. He’s showing and giving our community hope. He’s showing us that if you have a dream that you can go out and achieve that dream.

“All the area schools have rallied around the success that Joe has had,” Christ Community Wesleyan church member Rusty Thomas said. “Being able to see him perform at the elite level that he is has been awesome for us to cheer him on. We’re glad that he’s settled in at a great place at LSU.”

“We have Ohio University which is great,” Christ Community Wesleyan church member Eric Lucas said. “But to have a local guy from a local high school here come on the scene to show what hard work and determination can do. I’m very, very proud of him.”

Burrow’s success has given Christ Community Wesleyan church a great excuse to get together.

“We are a close-knit church,” Kirkendall said. “What I love about our congregation is that they love out loud. Whenever we have a community event, people come out and are very good supporters of everything that we try to do. Joe Burrow is one of our hometown heroes.”

“Our church is really community-orientated,” Thomas said. “We have an opportunity here where God has blessed us to do a lot of things for the community and this is one of those things where we were able to do that.

Burrow is a symbol of Southeast Ohio.

“I grew up here and I love the people,” Lucas said. “That’s what I like about Joe. He’s like the people that are around here. He’s just low-key. He’s just a humble guy. The people you see here is what you get and that’s what I like about him.”