Joe Burrow with long hair. Via MLFootball on X.

The internet with wild on Monday with huge breaking news – Joe Burrow had long hair.

Not just any long hair mind you, but movie star caliber hair that would be good enough to land Burrow anywhere from the cover of GQ to starring in his own young adult sci-fi franchise. Unfortunately, though it’s just another fake in a long line of fan fiction that is becoming part of our normal experiences. From deepfakes to AI, it’s impossible to tell what exactly is real anymore, but here’s how it all went down.

The Burrow meme really got going when, unsurprisingly, it was shared to a wide audience by aggregator account MLFootball without any real context other than the statement that it was “trending.” But as is the case with a lot of what gets aggregated on social media, the post went viral with fans amazed and intrigued by Burrow’s new look and not realizing if it was actually true.

Then on Tuesday morning, Locked on Bengals podcast host James Rapien shared pictures of Burrow on X that showed the Cincinnati quarterback with much shorter hair, consistent with his past look. While it was speculated by outlets like For the Win that Burrow probably didn’t have the hair seen on social media thanks to recent public appearances, these photos definitely confirmed it.

Sigh. At least we’ll always have the memes and the memories which were a ton of fun while they lasted.

And if George Lucas ever considers a remake of those Star Wars original trilogy movies, we now know a guy that can do the job.