Let me start by saying this. I respect JJ Watt. Far too often in sports we are talking about athletes that don't show a sense of appreciation that matches how lucky they are to make millions of dollars for playing a sport, albeit at an extremely high level. We are always talking about guys that don't put in the amount of work to justify their insanely high paycheck. So I will give JJ Watt that. He definitely understands what it takes to be an NFL superstar, and he definitely doesn't take it for granted.
With that said, can we not? Jesus Christ. That hour of television was like a splice of a JJ Watt '30 For 30' and 'Hard Knocks'. A hundred guys at Texans training camp, and the camera followed ONE of them around for half the show. Now, it's not JJ's fault that the camera gravitates towards the best players on a team. However, it is JJ Watt's fault that he pandered to the camera more than an Instagram model. It is his fault that he gave the camera no choice but to follow him. I have no doubt that JJ Watt puts in the work necessary to dominate some of the strongest men in the world. I do doubt that he is out there at 10PM, by himself, after a full day of practices, going one on one with a tackling dummy, if there aren't TV cameras around. I have hard time believing that a DEFENSIVE END is sprinting back to get THREE different guys out of bed to toss him a couple balls on the Juggs machine if he doesn't think it will be broadcast to millions of people. I have a hard time believing that thousands of fans are waiting around until long after practice has ended unless they were told prior that JJ Watt would sign an autograph for each and every one of them. You know at some point during this filming the guys from HBO were like "dude, are you done yet?". I felt like I was watching JJ Watt play JJ Watt in a feature film about JJ Watt that was written, directed, and produced by JJ Watt. It was so glorified and scripted that it was nearly vomit inducing.
Just be a real person JJ, Is that too much to ask? You know that kid in high school that always bragged about EVERYTHING because he was trying cover up some insecurities or fill some type of void in his life? That basically what JJ Watt is doing except he has nothing to prove. He's the best defensive player in football. Watching him beat a human shaped piece of foam off the edge isn't going to alter my view of him more than a 20 sack season already did. Watching him make uncontested one-handed catches isn't going to impress me more than his handful of touchdown grabs during actual NFL competition. Go inside. Get some rest. No player is this praiseworthy unless they are putting on a significant front. We watch sports to see players that are genuinely characters, not players portraying characters. Be who you are, that's enough. We don't need you to be who you think we want you to be. That's when we stop appreciating you, not as football player, but as a person.