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What’s In a Name?

With one change of his name, Joe Burrow cemented himself in Louisiana lore

Joe Burrow has had plenty of moments on the field that has made him so beloved by LSU. But no matter how many yards he may throw for, or awards he may claim or championships he may help the Tigers win, no moment made Joe Burrow truly part of Louisiana more than the “Joe Burreaux” jersey he wore during LSU’s Senior Day festivities Saturday night.

Burrow wearing that jersey is, in no uncertain terms, a genius decision. To wear that jersey in front of 102,00 people who already revere him was simple, yet brilliant. That it was his idea, is even more amazing.

“I just thought it would be an awesome tribute to the state and to the university,” Burrow said.

“Joe’s meant a lot to Louisiana,” Ed Orgeron said. “When they love you, they love you. They love Joe, and Joe loves them.”

Joe Burrow, the kid from Athens, Ohio sits atop the SEC record book for passing yards and touchdowns; he’s on pace to break the NCAA completion percentage record; he’s at the helm of the most prolific offense in America and he’s running away with the Heisman trophy.

But Joe Burreaux? He’s one tough son of a bitch. He oozes confidence when in the gun and plays with an arrogance that makes LSU fans love him while rival schools despise. He’ll get his bell rung by UCF and come back to torch the Knights secondary; he’ll play with a separated shoulder against Alabama one year, then the next he’ll end the torturous losing streak in their house; he’ll count the number of touchdowns he threw on a hapless Vanderbilt secondary and he’ll bid adieu to the Texas Longhorn fans.

Joe Burrow is our quarterback. Joe Burreaux? He’s more than that, he’s one of us. That his name is spelled “-rrow” is a technicality; as far as Louisiana is concerned, the correct way to spell his name is “-rreaux.” Burreaux could be from Ville Platte, Opelousas, or Carencro, not southeastern Ohio. If and when Burrow wins the Heisman and leads LSU to a national championship, LSU should build a statue of him and retire his No. 9. And the university ought to spell his name Burreaux, which we all know is the correct way, and not Burrow, the alleged “proper” way.

Burrow has proven so many doubters wrong. He showed that he could be a starting quarterback. He showed that an LSU offense could be as dynamic as any team in the country. But Saturday night proved something even more amazing. He showed that he loves Louisiana as much as it loves him.