Mon. Jan 30th, 2023

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By becoming a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and one of the NFL’s great pass rushers, J.J. Watt became arguably the greatest player to ever suit up for the Houston Texans. But his on field legacy was amplified by his off field efforts that saw him go above and beyond in service to Texans fans — service which, even as Watt has moved on to the Arizona Cardinals, continues today.

In a Twitter post on Wednesday night, Houston woman Jennifer Simpson — an Astros and Texans fan — advertised that she had a pair of J.J. Watt sneakers and a women’s J.J. Watt jersey for sale. Simpson explicitly stated that she was only selling those items in order to help pay for her grandfather’s funeral. According to the Houston Chronicle, the Simpson family has struggled financially, and Simpson has been attempting to fundraise daily since her grandfather died on June 20.

Seeing the post in which he was tagged, Watt stepped in and told Simpson not to sell her gear, saying that he would help pay for her grandfather’s funeral.

Simpson replied to express her gratitude, and she becomes the latest Texans fan to be helped out by an act of kindness from Watt, whose off-field altruism has enhanced his legend as one of Houston’s greatest sports figures.

There are many individual stories of Watt helping out fans or brightening their day. And in 2017, Watt raised upwards of $40 million for victims of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area, efforts which resulted in him earning the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

Though he now enters his second season with the Arizona Cardinals, the city of Houston remains near and dear to Watt. The No. 11 overall pick by the Texans in 2011, Watt played 10 seasons in Houston and was the team’s biggest star in the most successful era in the history of the young franchise.

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