JJ Watt, JJ Watt, JJ Watta goooon! Am I the only person who was not salivating over this guy the entire episode? Men, women, Americans (particularly Texans), everywhere salivate over this #99. Sure, he’s hott and clearly, an excellent football player, but he also seems to want his own TV show!
Did anyone else CRINGE during his work out montage with the tire? The entire time he was “rapping” Fort Minor’s, “Remember the Name,” I was begging him to please, make.it.stop. …Or was that just me? How about the scene where he worked out by himself until 9pm out on the field? A little much for me. On one hand, I can acknowledge that this is exactly how he earned his Defensive Player of the Year Award, and yet on the other hand, I wondered how much of it was just for the cameras.I thought JJ’s best, authentic moments were to see him quite literally bulldoze his way through his own teammates and the Skins, to see him sign autographs for fans for an hour after a full day of practice, and of course to see him play a little corn hole with his mama. Ok HBO, you got me, JJ Watt is just like us.
Moving on from JJ, I nearly cried when that kid, Reshard tore his ACL. How heartbreaking?! #majorsads
But ultimately, my favorite “character” is Coach Vrabel. Not only did he instruct his player to “throw a marshmallow at him next time,” when he felt that his player tackled too gently, he also gave a SPOT ON response and my favorite quote of the episode. A player remarked about how it could be worse, “you” could be home. Meaning, suffer through practice, it could be worse: you could be at home on your couch instead of at an NFL training camp. Vrabel responded, “Yeah, you could be working. Imagine if you had to get up and f*cking work every day. Just tell him this ain’t f*cking work. What your parents did was work. What your grandparents did was work. This ain’t f*cking work” #YAAAS. If you didn’t see the episode, in print, I can imagine this reads that he is scolding his players. However, why I particularly enjoyed it was because he wasn’t scolding them at all! This was sideline banter. He was merely hitting his players with a reality check that what they do all day is not real life.He asked them to imagine having to put on a suit every day and sit in an office like the rest of the world. He chuckled after as if to say to them, “you could never do that so buck up, get right, and play.” #coachvrabelismyman
And congrats again to you, HBO, for this show. I, as a person who previously did not give neither one shit, nor two, about the Texans will now see them on TV and at least have an inkling of interest. I will also hope that the NFL puts a mic on Coach Vrabel so I can count just how many times he says “f*ck” a game.
Otherwise, the episode was your typical Real Housewives for men: a fight on the field, a pump up speech by JJ, and football montages. For any former athlete, the show does bring back some memories. I can remember sitting in conference rooms at Georgetown, having our first team meetings. We’d do the same “get to know you” chats, go over game tapes, and prep for practice. I can also remember, huddling up at the Oak Knoll School Chatham Field pitcher’s mound, “1, 2, 3, THREE UP” and then the outfield huddle would chant, “THREE DOWN.” (Softball reference for those in the dark, Google it). I can remember caravanning in my mom’s van for summer league games, (yup, just like the Texans traveled to Richmond). And I can remember how awesome it felt to have your name on the back of your shirt.
Overall, it makes you remember how it feels to be on a team. Corporations like to make comparisons to sports, and while there are similarities, I don’t believe that just because you work in a corporation means that you know what it’s like to be on a team. On a sport’s team, you travel together, you eat together, you sleep, change, and shower in the same room together. You experience the same highs, the same lows, the same exhaustion, the same adrenaline…together. It consumes your entire life. You are around the same people, all the time, and it doesn’t seem strange at all. You know each other better than some of your own family members. Your lives are completely intertwined. It has its challenges but you know you are part of something great, something special. You know that you are part of an experience that not everyone will get the privilege of having in their lifetime. It pretty much f*cking rocks.