JJ Watt Receives An Emotional Standing Ovation
JJ Watt receives an emotional standing ovation following his final NFL game following the conclusion of a stellar career. After his career in the National Football League came to an end on Sunday, J.J. Watt received a standing ovation as he walked off the field for the last time.
Watt, who is almost certainly going to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, found it difficult to keep his emotions in check.
In December of the previous year, the 33-year-old player, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest defensive players of all time, declared that he would hang up his cleats at the conclusion of the 2022 season.
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And Watt finished off his remarkable career in the best possible way by recording two sacks and one pass defense in the Arizona Cardinals' season-ending loss to the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The game ended with the Cardinals losing 38-13.
Watt was taken out of the game in the game's final few minutes so that the fans inside the stadium, his teammates, and his family who were there could show their appreciation for all that he has accomplished, both on and off the field.
Watt appeared to be on the verge of tears as he walked off the field, and his wife, Kealia, watched from the stands as the crowd applauded him and stood to their feet as he left the field.
Watt was presented with a surprise video the day before the game against the 49ers. The video was a compilation of well-wishes from family members, teammates, and legendary NFL opponents. Each person in the video congratulated Watt on a successful career and wished him luck for what is to come.
Watt explained how the video, which he referred to as "one of the greatest gifts I've ever received," finally broke through the emotional barrier that he had built up inside of himself.
Watt told reporters after Sunday’s game, per the Arizona Cardinals:
I have not been emotional through the whole process. I had not been emotional back when I made my decision, I wasn’t emotional last week really, I wasn’t emotional at the last practice, I wasn’t really emotional at the meetings (Saturday) night. I was just ready to go to bed. Then (Cardinals defensive line coach Matt) Burke got up and explained putting together the video. The second that video turned on, I lost it. I absolutely lost it. I was bawling like a baby, and I didn’t stop until well into the night.
- JJ Watt
Watt has demonstrated yet again why he is one of the best players in the Cardinals' lineup, despite the fact that the team finished the year with a record of 4-13.
Due to the fact that he recorded two sacks on Sunday, he concludes the season with a total of 12.5 sacks, bringing his career total to 114.5 sacks.
Watt gave a resounding "yes" when he was asked whether he could keep competing at the highest level of the game.
I know I still can. I’m just choosing not to.
- JJ Watt
Watt's dominant career comes to an end, and as a result, he will almost certainly be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the time comes for him to be considered for induction in 2028.
Watt received the Defensive Player of the Year award three times, which ties him for the most in the history of the league with defensive tackle Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams and linebacker Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants.
According to the NFL, the player who has been named to the All-Pro team seven times and to the Pro Bowl five times was selected by the Houston Texans with the 11th overall pick in the NFL Draft in 2011. He played for the Texans for the first 10 seasons of his career. He currently holds the record for the most career sacks for the Texans franchise with 101 of them.
Watt is well-known for the work he has done away from the field.
In the wake of the widespread devastation wreaked by Hurricane Harvey along the Gulf Coast in August 2017, Watt launched a charitable initiative that would go on to define his professional trajectory.
Watt was able to raise more than $37 million for those who had been impacted by the hurricane thanks to a YouCaring campaign, as well as a lot of attention on social media and assistance from some famous friends. The 2017 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which is presented to recognize the charitable work and volunteer efforts of NFL players, was bestowed upon him as a result of his successful fundraising efforts.
Watt revealed earlier this season in a social media post that he had undergone treatment for atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat described by many sufferers as a "quiver," "flutter," or "flip-flop" of the heart. Watt posted a farewell message on Twitter shortly after the 49ers' loss.
Sometime in the coming days I’ll find the right words. But for right now, all I can say is thank you. You’ve changed my life forever and I am perpetually grateful.
- JJ Watt