Sports Illustrated Names J.J. Watt Co-Sportsperson Of The Year

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief
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Sports Illustrated made a great decision when it named Houston Texans star J.J. Watt “Sportsperson of the Year,” along with Astros player Jose Altuve.

SI announced the decision Tuesday with a long profile, and wrote in part:

When devastation hit his city of Houston in late August, J.J. Watt set out to raise $200,000. He ended up raising more than $37 million in Hurricane Harvey relief, via donations from both millionaires and six-year-olds. And, after suffering an injury in the fifth game of the season, Watt has finally been able to realize that he’s much more than just an NFL player.

Watt threw all of his energy into this season’s opener against Jacksonville. (Too much of it, he thinks.) He emptied every barrel in a game that requires energy conservation and a degree of patience. With every snap, every burst off the line, he thought he was giving Houston what it wanted.

Then it was over, and the games went on without him. At some point, when he looks back on this season, Watt will come to realize what everyone already knows: When it became bigger than football, when the stakes were higher than a stop or a win or even a Super Bowl, J.J. Watt gave Houston what it needed.

This is a great decision from SI. Much better than giving it to that clown Colin Kaepernick, although they did also recently give him a different award.

Watt raised millions of dollars for the city of Houston after Hurricane Harvey rocked the city. It was devastating for the city and the entire state of Texas. Watt rose far above expectations, and raised millions for a community that has given him so much. He didn’t kneel on the sideline to protest the hurricane, he didn’t make excuses and he didn’t make the whole story about himself.

Watt got up and got stuff done. Very few people on this planet could have pulled off the fundraising effort he did. It was incredible to watch. Kaepernick seems to be winning award after award because for some mind-boggling reason it’s fashionable to be an unemployed quarterback. When is the last time Kaepernick raised nearly $40 million for anything? It has never once happened.

The Houston Texans star managed to do it in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. I couldn’t agree more with SI’s pick.

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