dominance -- n. power and influence over others
In sports, coming up with an exact definition of the word "dominance" is dependent on the sport, and not always easy, but like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once said when asked to define "pornography," I know it when I see it.
And I know I see it when I watch J.J. Watt, No. 4 on our countdown to the King of Content for 2014.
How many different ways did J.J. Watt exert his dominance on football games, on opposing teams, on the entire 2014 season, and on a city? Let's count them up, shall we?
From a 3-4 defensive end position, a position that in most 3-4 defenses (and certainly, historically, in Romeo Crennel's iteration of the 3-4 defense) is meant to be a placeholder to occupy blockers so others can make plays, J.J. Watt just had his second 20+ sack season (in his fourth year in the league).
J.J. Watt finished the season with 118 quarterback pressures (combined total of sacks, QB hits and hurries), more than double the next closest 3-4 defensive end in the league, and 40 percent more than the next closest player regardless of position.
Prolific tackle numbers are normally reserved for inside linebackers. Prolific numbers of passes defended are typically reserved for cornerbacks and safeties. J.J. Watt was second on the Texans in tackles (72) and first in passes defended (10).
J.J. Watt weighs nearly 300 pounds. Have I mentioned that? Continuing....
J.J. Watt scored five touchdowns this season, which is the same number as Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. Combined.
Three of those touchdowns came as a tight end/H-back, including a diving catch in the corner of the end zone for Ryan Mallett's first career touchdown pass in Cleveland. The other two touchdowns were on the defensive side of the ball, a pick six against Buffalo that swung the game to the Texans' advantage and a fumble return against the Colts where he got up from a sitting position at midfield and outraced everyone to the end zone.
Allow me to mention again -- J.J. Watt weighs nearly 300 pounds.
Pro Football Focus rated every player on every snap of every game and comes up with a score to rate that player's performance. They've been doing this for eight seasons now. In 2014, J.J. Watt was the highest-rated player in the history of their scoring system with a +106 rating, breaking the record set last year by....J.J. Watt. (Who last year broke the record set in 2012 by.....J.J. Watt.)
J.J. Watt holds a softball game annually where the offense and the defense for the Texans get together at Constellation Field for an afternoon in May and play some ball. The game sold out this year in a couple of hours, crashing the Sugar Land Skeeters' server in the process. It raised over $300,000 for Watt's foundation, which donates money to schools for equipment and resources to fortify after-school activities.
FInally, pretty much every woman in a committed relationship residing within a 100-mile radius of Harris County has J.J. Watt as her one "hall pass" that her male companion would allow her to sleep with. (Hell, most of the dudes would probably sleep with J.J., too, if they had the chance.)
And that, my friends, is dominance.
J.J. WATT POSTS FOR 2014: