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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Caroline Darney

I ruined the recording of my interview with J.J. Watt, but here’s what I can remember

Sometimes, things don’t go as planned. Such was the case when, after a really great interview with the legendary football player J.J. Watt, I realized that my recording only picked up half the conversation. Not only was it just half of the conversation, it was my half. The useless half.

Well, I didn’t want the really great interview — trust me, it was super good — to go to waste, so I’m trying to remember all the best parts.

Here we go.

This fall football season looks entirely different to Watt. For the first time in over two decades, the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and five-time All-Pro player isn’t part of a football team.

Watt, a Wisconsin native, retired from the sport after the 2022 season. He spent 12 years in the NFL, with a decade of that with the Houston Texans before rounding things out with the Arizona Cardinals.

Despite being incredibly good at football, it seems as though Watt is not very good at retirement. On second thought, maybe he’s excellent at it. Since stepping away, Watt has hit up the popular Taylor Swift Eras Tour, golfed (a lot), thought about starting a podcast, tried wakeboarding, visited Europe, signed a deal with CBS to do some on-air work and invested in the English football club Burnley.

And that’s all since March.

Watt and his wife, NWSL star Kealia Watt, welcomed their first son, Koa, back in October of 2022. Things have been essentially non-stop since. Part of J.J.’s “new” life is just getting to enjoy his family and free time. In true Watt family tradition, brothers Derek and T.J. are in a dead-heat battle to win the title of “Best Uncle” for Koa, something that started between J.J. and T.J. with Derek’s children.

While the season may look a little different, it hasn’t dampened his love for the game. Instead of taking the field each week, Watt has attempted to hone his multitasking skills while also vocally supporting brother T.J.’s Defensive Player of the Year campaign with the Steelers.

The midwesterner has also started dabbling with partnerships, teaming up with Old El Paso and giving away Miller Lite to 99 lucky winners.

Watt thinks he and his brothers could easily crush the 99 beers together, and concedes that Americans don’t stack up with the English when it comes to drinking songs (sorry, 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall), It’s unclear what he might get into next, but it is clear that Watt is making the most of his retirement (and that Kealia should act in more things… she’s a star with limited screen time).

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