Bengals fans have been pinning their hopes on Joe Burrow months before the team made it official by naming him their No. 1 selection in the NFL Draft in April. Rumors had been swirling about as long that the LSU quarterback and Heisman trophy winner might not have been all that excited about making his professional debut in Cincinnati.
Former Bengals offensive lineman Dave Lapham tackled those rumors head-on during Easterseals’ “Lappy Hour” hosted by fellow-broadcaster Dan Hoard on June 17. The online event presented by Western & Southern Financial Group raised more than $32,000 for Easterseals Military & Veteran Services while giving the audience a chance to talk football with Dan and Dave.
Lapham put those Burrow rumors to rest sharing how he addressed the issue at the Indianapolis combine. “He looked at everybody and said: look, I’m a competitor. I’m working to be the first pick in the draft. I have no problem that it’s the Cincinnati Bengals,” Lapham recalled.
If there were any concerns among the team, Sports Illustrated reports that Burrow is easily winning them over with a strong work ethic.
Lap is already commending Burrow for impressive leadership skills. “He’s one of those guys that walks in and he commands the room. He’s a leader, and he’s not a real showy guy. He has a quiet earned confidence. He’s smart as a whip. Not just football IQ, but overall raw intelligence.”
Dan and Dave covered a lot of ground in 40 minutes, including a discussion on what impact empty stadiums might have on game play if coronavirus restrictions keep fans out of the stands. Lap says Cincinnati might have an advantage with the first six games shaping up to be on the road in cities like Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Indianapolis.
“If there aren’t crowds in the stands, that’s a big plus for the visiting team,” Lap says. “The biggest thing with the crowd noise is the adrenaline rush. At home, you’re getting incredible support, so that gives you an adrenaline rush. That’s why home field advantage is such a big deal in the playoffs.”
The Lappy Hour event also showcased how Easterseals Military & Veteran Services is working to support Greater Cincinnati veterans who have faced struggles in their civilian lives. Pam Green, President and CEO of Easterseals Serving Greater Cincinnati, shared how the organization has provided more than $11 million in total benefits to the veteran community since 2012, including:
Scott Robinson, Director of Easterseals Military & Veteran Services, shared part of the Easterseals playbook for serving veterans. That includes serving ALL veterans, regardless of their discharge status or age, at no cost to the veteran.
“Right now, over 3,000 local veterans are unemployed and struggling to support their families,” Robinson said. “In this region, over 900 veterans are currently homeless. That’s why, we continue to work with veterans to secure and retain employment.”
Easterseals Military & Veteran Services is 100% staffed by veterans who understand the potential struggles when transitioning from military to civilian life and beyond. The team takes a holistic approach to understanding each veteran’s needs and building a comprehensive set of wrap-around supports.
The team works with more than 200 local businesses and community partners, including the United Way of Greater Cincinnati and the City of Cincinnati. Easterseals Military & Veteran Services has seen a 525% increase in demand for services since 2017, which makes community support and philanthropy so important to providing essential services and resources.
We want to thank ALL our Lappy Hour Sponsors:
Our Presenting Sponsor: Western and Southern Financial
If you would like to make a gift to support local veterans, visit GiveVets22.org where you can learn more about our mission. All proceeds will go to the Easterseals Military & Veteran Services program to benefit employment services, education, and non-medical emergencies.