I was excited to watch Sunday Night Football last night. Not because I’m a fan of either team per say, but, because I have always been a fan of a great defense. I’m an even bigger fan of great defensive players.
Whether you’re a fan of the Texans or not, it’s always exciting to watch J.J. Watt! Throughout the history of the NFL there’s always been something exceptional to watch a defender dominate a game. It’s a feat that is far from simple. It’s something that is rarely seen on that side of the ball. Offenses, especially nowadays, have a much easier time wowing crowds. Any given Sunday, several quarterbacks orchestrate game winning drives, have 300+ yards passing or 4 touchdown passes. That’s all become fairly common.
Something that is not commonplace in the NFL is a defender who dominates or disrupts opposing team’s offensive plans on a regular basis. If we’re lucky, we get to see those defensive monsters come alive during a primetime game. It’s been my pleasure on several occasions to witness J.J. Watt roar to life with a run stuffing play or by punishing a quarterback with a game changing sack. The crowd erupts with cheers and is hopeful for more to come.
I was excited last night with the chance to witness once more the dominance of J.J. Watt. Unfortunately, J.J. was the recipient of a horrible injury. A tibial plateau fracture. I had no idea what that meant, so I did a bit of research. It was easy to understand the severity of this injury as the first med page I went to said the tibial plateau was the most crucial part of load bearing for the body. That does not paint a great picture for a man that makes his living taking such a substantial load and twisting, contorting and bending in any way he can to wreak havoc on a football field.
I saw, a moment ago, that J.J. Watt had posted a message early this morning on his Twitter account wherein he apologized after stating how devastated he was. I had 2 thoughts after reading that. 1, any injury is difficult to deal with, and the level of difficulty often walks hand in hand with the severity of the injury. 2, J.J. Watt doesn’t owe anyone an apology, not in the least. We’re the ones who are sorry.
I’m sorry that he was injured. He’s already dealt with some serious injuries and surgeries. It’s very unfortunate that he has to deal with another. I’m sorry that none of us will get to see him play for the rest of the season. Watching J.J. for the last several years has been a real treat for me and countless others. The NFL is better with him on the field. In all honesty, our country is better with a healthy and active J.J. Watt.
His off the field involvement and leadership is another reason that he’s easy to cheer for. It’s entirely possible to view the Houston Texans as a big rival, and still have tremendous respect for J.J. Watt. He is the rare player that comes along every so often and transcends rivalries. He commands respect, not necessarily vocally, but through his actions on and off the field.
I’m sure I speak for every NFL fan when I say I hope J.J. heals quickly and heals well. It’s a better game with Watt. I hope your healing happens in a way that we all can witness another dominant game from you. But mostly I hope that the devastation felt from this injury does not linger. As much as the NFL is better when you’re rumbling on the field, the community in and around Houston and our entire country are so much better when you’re rumbling off the field for the people.
Whether you’ve played your last snap or not, I hope and pray that your tenacity and leadership outside of football are not over. Also, as far as I’m concerned, you don’t owe anyone an apology. What you should be saying is “You’re Welcome!” I have a teensy weensy GIGANTIC hunch that will never happen, but it’s true. Thanks for all you’ve done for the NFL and countless folks in the community. Heal well, and whatever happens next, I look forward to witnessing you demolish another opposing problem on or off the field.