10 reasons we’ve fallen for the Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt
26-year-old J.J. Watt is an All-American dream: a Wisconsin native who played football for the Wisconsin Badgers and since 2011 has been a top defenseman for the Houston Texans. Here are our top 10 reasons for loving what’s Watt.
1. His mega-Watt good looks. Just look at him in this video when he appeared on Jimmy Kimmel, especially when he winks at 1:17. His smile can melt you like chocolate in the sun. And if we ask our own guy to start using Axe, it might just be because J.J. promoted it.
2. His 6’5” height and 290 pounds of brawn. Women love to wear heels and still have a man tower over them like a pillar of strength. J.J. is more than just a pillar—he’s a whole cathedral! And, standing next to him will never make your butt look big.
3. His biggest muscle may be his heart. The J.J. Watt Foundation has given over $1 million to middle school sports programs in Wisconsin and Texas. J.J. also gives his time and attention to a variety of other causes, including visiting hospitalized children, speaking to youth sports programs, and once sending pizza to the Houston fire and police departments in honor of Salute to Service day.
4. His mental intensity. We find his intensity both motivational and sexy. When J.J. steps on the gas pedal, he floors it—and beyond, because he seems to have an extra gear that most people lack. “I’m a real nice guy off the field. But when it comes time to play the game, when I go into that tunnel, I go from man to monster … that’s when I go into beast mode.” It’s that mental intensity in combination with his explosive physicality that has earned him nicknames like “the wrecking machine” and “the human freight train.”
5. He makes good choices. Many pro athletes are stars on the field, but act like thugs, criminals, or spoiled jerks off the field. J.J., on the other hand, surrounds himself with good people and stays on the straight and narrow. He credits his parents for bringing him up right and it shows, from the way he offers a hand up to the quarterback he just sacked to the way he treats fans. When he talks to young athletes, he urges them to take the right road and make right decisions, especially when other people are trying to tell you that it’s not cool to do the right thing.
6. His relentless work ethic. In response to questions about his lack of a personal life, J.J. responded, “I have a limited amount of time to build a career out of football. When I get done with football, then I can relax and drink as many beers as I want and hang out and be a regular guy. Right now, I am a football player and I will sacrifice whatever is necessary to be the best.” When he’s done with football and ready to start a family, he’s sure to give that same dedication and devotion to his wife and kids.
7. His humility. When J.J. talks, his words consistently ring true and humble. In interviews and award speeches, J.J. gives credit to everyone from his elementary school teachers to the team cafeteria staff. When asked how he felt about not playing in the first pre-season game in 2015, he replied sincerely, “Whatever’s best for the team, I’m always going to do … I’m completely on board.” The arrogance that might be expected from a $100 million contract holder just never got a hold on J.J.—maybe because he’s too busy working out.
8. His athleticism on and off the field. J.J. is thrilling to watch on the field because he often does the unexpected. He’s the first NFL defensive lineman since 1944 to have at least five touchdowns in a season, and the first to do it with three offensive and two defensive scores. He’s also the first player in NFL history to make 20 or more sacks in two different seasons. His ability to bat down passes—a total of 33 in the past three seasons—earned him the nickname J.J. Swatt. Not only is he an incredibly versatile player on the field, he demonstrates amazing athleticism off the field as well. Not many near-300-pound guys can do a 6’1” standing box jump!
9. His sense of humor. As the NFL YouTube channel puts it, “J.J. Watt is as entertaining on the mic as he is intimidating on the field.” Some of his on-field quotes include, “I’m beating these guys like a drum out here!” and “It ain’t pattycake! Let’s go!” In one interview, he admitted that his choice for a karaoke song would be “Call Me Maybe” and that his favorite TV character was Tommy Pickles from Rugrats.
10. His ability to pump up everyone around him. In the huddle, we’ve heard him say, “How many times in your life do you have 80,000 people and you’re the volume knob? We need to turn it up! Let’s turn it up!” He’s constantly yelling “woo!” on the field, to the point that in one game he laughingly announced, “I have woo’ed myself out. I am tired just from woo’ing.” He’s not just doing it to draw attention to himself, he’s really focused on amping up his teammates and winning games. Need some daily motivation? Follow him on Twitter at @JJWatt.