USA Today issued their “100 Most Anticipated NFL Players” ahead of the impending 2015 season and the Houston Texans were no strangers to it. Defensive MVP and leading pass rusher, J.J. Watt won the number 2 overall spot on the list and had it not been for contract controversy between Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and his front office, he would have been number 1.
As if there’s anything that can be said about J.J. that’s not already been said.
Watt has certainly played his part and done almost every perfect P.R. move imaginable in Houston.
From buying pizzas for policeman and firefighters all across town to handwriting letters to bosses to get people off of work in order to attend his charity softball game, you name it, he’s been there.
As good as No. 99 is on the field, he’s managed to do something off of it that only a handful of Texas legends have been able to accomplish. He’s romanced the city. Time and time again, Watt has been able to demonstrate his understanding of fan’s hopes to be a part of the Texans history, team and ultimately the family.
Whether or not this is a big, elaborate scheme that his agent has been running for the past few years, Watt should be commended on his ability to move as far south as possible and connect with a culture that has been desperate for their own superstar since the franchise’s inception.
Two weeks ago, I saw a guy at my gym who was working out while wearing an authentic JJ Watt Jersey. My first thought and intention was to ask him out of respect, to remove it, clean it and only display it either on game days or days in which he wouldn’t be pouring sweat. But I realized that Watt has connected with this guy to where even at the gym, this health-struggling fellow has discovered the courage to attempt to become better.
And no matter how I reason it, Watt has ultimately had a hand in helping this man find that courage.
Moving forward, I can’t imagine people’s interest in Watt dying down, especially playing alongside Vince Wikfork and a potentially healthy Jadeveon Clowney.
Oh and there’s a little HBO show coming out that will no doubt, feature Watt as much as humanly possible.
And why not? He’s a guy who can romance a city.