By WC Peters
We already know J.J. Watt is a great football player, and when healthy he is arguably the best defensive football player playing today. In his short seven year career, Watt has been a pro bowler 4 times, 4x All-Pro, and 2012, 14, 15 A.P. Defensive POY. The Texans, the only team Watt has played for in his career, have made the playoffs 3 times, mainly due to the defense of which he is the best player. He was awarded handsomely with a 6 year $100 million contract with a $30.9 million dollar guaranteed and a $10 million signing bonus in 2014. Watt’s greatness is not limited to just between the sidelines. His charity work is also off the charts.
In 2017, Watt won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for his philanthropy. The J.J. Watt Foundation’s mission is to provide after-school sports for middle school-aged children. The foundation believes that through sports, the children can learn the traits of accountability, teamwork, leadership, work ethic, and perseverance. The popular podcast “Pardon My Take” wanted to have J.J. Watt as one of its guests last summer, and since he has been the butt of more than a few of their jokes. He made them raise $50K for his foundation before he would do it. Well, the award-winning listeners came through and they raised $50K for his charity for the boys and girls sports programs. The foundation’s other mission is also to assist the city of Houston and the surrounding areas recovering from the Hurricane. While other high profile Houstonians like Joel Osteen were locking the people of Houston out as they tried to escape the flood waters, Watt was busy raising money, and raise the money he did to the tune of $37 million! The guy is incredible! He is always willing to help, especially if it involves the city of Houston or children.
This brings me to this past week, after the horrible violence in the school in Sante Fe, Texas. Ten people were killed, eight students and two teachers, and Mr. Watt stepped up and offered to pay for the ten funerals for the victims. This is another in a long line of great deeds from a great man. The funny thing is he doesn’t only help out when it is a publicized tragedy, such as Hurricane Harvey and Santa Fe, but he is always visiting sick people in the hospital and children with cancer that is not as covered by the media. J.J. Watt is not just great at football, but he is also great at life and being a good human being. The NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for J.J. Watt is like the NBA MVP for LeBron James, they should get it every year, except for the fact that the media wants to spread the wealth around to different players.
Cheers to you J.J. Watt. Keep doing what you are doing! Whether you get another sack again or not, you have impacted people in ways that you will never realize.