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Jordan Burroughs finally
got prime-time status on NBC Tuesday night, and the good-natured
Olympic gold medalist from Nebraska used the occasion to confess
something that tough guys usually try to hide: He’s a mamma’s boy and so
proud of it, he was willing to show Tonight Show host Jay Leno
and his runaway No. 1 late-night television audience. Somehow, I knew
Janice Burroughs would be a focal point because NBC twice promoted his
post-gold medal match sprint into the stands to find his mother before
Leno introduced her son with a full force of triumphant Olympic music.
Early in the interview, Leno asked Burroughs if he had a tattoo, and
just like Kelsey Grammer, the guest before him, he not only acknowledged
having tattoos; he was willing to show the world his favorite.
“I have my mom’s; I’m a momma’s boy,”
Burroughs said as he stood up from his chair. And sure enough, he
offered proof. “It says momma’s boy right here,” he said, pointing and
smiling simultaneously. “My mom would be happy to see that.” Leno told
Burroughs that his sprint into the stands to find his mom was one of his
“favorite moments” from the Olympic Games in London. While looking at
that moment one more time, a laughing Leno asked Burroughs why he
couldn’t get his mom better seats. The gold medal celebrity guest was
also laughing while he was describing his jump over a steep wall and
into a swarm of fans who appeared shocked to see him come their way
while in pursuit of his 5-foot-3 mother.
Finally, when Burroughs reached his mother halfway up the stands, he hugged her, told her he loved her and almost on cue, the Tonight Show
audience applauded when a world champion finally embraced his mamma on
vintage film. “It was a great experience and a great moment for me, and I
know my mom was extremely happy,” Burroughs told Leno, adding that on
his trip “all the way back down I was hugging people I didn’t even
know.” Leno then asked about the “big role” his mother has played in his
life. “She’s been a huge inspiration for me,” Burroughs said. “She’s
been there since day one … all the wrestling meets and all the
tournaments she’s taken me to … all the phone calls every day … still,
to this day, she’s probably waiting to call me right now … she’s been a
The proof was in the tattoo.
And Jordan Burroughs didn’t think twice about making a personal confession on national television.
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