Joe Burrow provides some interesting insight on his relationship with fans

Cincinnati Bengals v Arizona Cardinals
Cincinnati Bengals v Arizona Cardinals / Norm Hall/GettyImages

Joe Burrow is one of the most popular players in the entire NFL. There's no doubt about that. After all, the Bengals quarterback finished in the top 10 in total merchandise sales last season. He's also beloved in Cincinnati after leading the Bengals to two AFC Championship games and a Super Bowl appearance in his first four years in the league.

Burrow's popularity technically dates back to his days as a college player at LSU, where he played two seasons and led the Tigers to a National Championship. He was already cemented as a legend at that point, and his legend has only grown since entering the NFL. The Bengals used the top overall pick in the 2020 draft to bring him to Cincinnati, and he's lived up to the hype that came with his selection.

Burrow learning to embrace his popularity

Getting used to his enormous popularity has been an adjustment for Burrow, who is naturally kind of a quiet and reserved guy. Coming out of his shell a bit has been an ongoing process for the star quarterback, but he's getting increasingly comfortable with showing a more personal side of himself.

"That's something that I've struggled with for my entire career really. I'm a pretty private person," Burrow said recently. "I try to keep as much as I can to myself, but I'm starting to branch out a little bit and get a little more comfortable sharing parts of my personality.

"This is really the first year that I've felt comfortable sharing more sides of myself with the fans," Burrow added. "I've really learned a lot from that this year. Engaging with fans a little more, engaging with social, engaging with my brand partners and creating those relationships within those companies. It's been an exciting past couple of months."

Dealing with adoring fans is just a reality for star quarterbacks in the NFL, so it's good that Burrow is getting more comfortable with his fame. Plus, Burrow is probably only going to continue to grow in popularity, especially if he lets his personality show a little bit more and he continues to have some serious success on the field. Heck, even Burrow's biggest on-field rivals really like him.

Overall, Burrow just seems like a likable guy. He has sort of an everyman aura about him. Plus, he's awesome at football. It's cool to see him start to embrace being embraced by his legion of fans.