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“Bittersweet” for JJ Watt to root for wife, Kealia, from afar



Against the undefeated North Carolina Courage on Wednesday, Kealia Watt and the Chicago Red Stars came up short, 1-0, in the National Women’s Soccer League action.

Since the game was played at the boundaries of Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah, Houston Texans All-Pro defensive end JJ Watt would no doubt have liked to be there personally to root for his wife, Kealia, but that is not an opportunity due to COVID -19-pandemic.

For Watt, whose brothers TJ and Derek play for the Pittsburgh Steelers, it is certainly a family affair when it comes to dealing with professional sports under the current restrictions.

As he explained to the NFL Network̵

7;s Willie McGinest on Wednesday night on NFL total accessSeeing Watt on Kealia’s sweater (formerly Ohai, before the couple’s marriage in February) is still a thrill, but missing out on being a live-rooting section for his wife has been an unfortunate byproduct of the current new norm.

“The first time I saw it was incredible. I am so proud of her. I am so grateful to have her in my life,” said JJ Watt. “Right now it’s a very bittersweet time. She’s in Utah playing in her tournament, but they’re in a bubble. So I can’t go and see her, she can’t come and see me, so we can’t see that for me to see her play soccer – which is one of my favorite things to do, I love to watch her compete, I love to watch her do what she loves – I have to give up to actually see her, to see her physically. So it’s bittersweet, but I’ve loved watching her play and she looks good. It’s a lot of fun. Trust me, I can’t wait to see her again at the end of the month. “

In more ways than one, it seems that waiting is the hardest part for Watt, who expects a return to the practice field and sees his teammates. When asked by McGinest about what the Texans look like, Watt was about his excitement for getting back into action rather than forecasting any fortunes for the reigning AFC South titles.

“We look forward to going out there and playing football. We will obviously have some more weapons on offense, we have dropped a couple of weapons – we have some change there – but as a team we will go out there, we will “We’ll play,” said Watt of the Texans, who lost their senior receiver (De’Andre Hopkins) and senior rusher (Carlos Hyde) from last year. “I just want to play, man. I just want to come out and play. I can’t wait to tell you what we look like, because it means I’m out and training with my guys.”

While the NFL continues to decide what lies ahead in terms of an early schedule and plans for the regular season of 2020, Watt not only has a pivotal interest in the NWSL but also draws attention to one of the first sporting leagues in the country.

Next up for Kealia Watt – originally a standout for the NWSL’s Houston Dash, at the national team level and at the University of North Carolina – is a Sunday matchup with the Utah Royals FC. While JJ Watt looks forward to playing football sooner than later, he will no doubt root his wife far away than he would like.


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