After sitting through the bitterness of nearly four hours of Ryan Mallett and Cam Newton incompletions on Sunday, I needed something to restore my optimism that there is indeed a god. (Yes, sadly, I predicate way too much of my believe in a higher being on the aesthetics of my hometown football team's games. I'm pretty easy to figure out.)
Leave it to two swell souls like Justin James Watt and Kevin Wayne Durant (yes, I had to look that up) to not only remind me that there are people out there struggling with far worse problems than the Texans' offensive line woes, but also help those people achieve their dreams, whatever they may be.
I'm still trying to wrap my brain around exactly what the ultimate end game of this campaign is from American Family Insurance (which I can't say without singing the catchy jingle) is, but this video made the room get a little bit dusty with some tears, so that's not such a bad thing, I suppose….
Okay, a few observations on this video:
1. I was thinking about this as the Texans were losing by 14 on Sunday afternoon in the fourth quarter, and I was watching J.J. Watt chop wood in a forest for the fifth time that day during a commercial break (for Verizon, I think) — is there an athlete in recent memory whose endorsement dollar-to-team success ratio is more top-heavy than J.J. Watt's over the past two-plus seasons, going back to the beginning of the 2013 season? Think about how rapidly J.J.'s star has risen in these past two years, and the corporate dollars that have followed — Reebok, Verizon, Gatorade, hell, I"m literally watching J.J. eat Greek yogurt in an H-E-B commercial as I type this. In that same timeframe, his team has a record of 11-23. It's not even close, right?
2. The poor marathon guy looked like he was going to become the first human being to vomit out of sheer joy when J.J. starts running alongside him. Most Houstonians go into near-faint mode when they meet J.J. Watt standing still. This poor bastard might have died!
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3. The award for most tear-inducing will always go to the working mom (in this instance, a nurse) who is also a student. I'm not exactly sure how Kevin Durant walking up and hugging her is going to help her get her degree, but it seems like a nice gesture, which actually brings me to my big question about this campaign…
4. What exactly is American Family Insurance's campaign about? I assumed that maybe there was some money involved, like they were going to help people realize their dreams by dropping some American currency on them (that would certainly help me with MY dreams!), but when Durant and Watt were showing up with lame signs instead of cardboard checks, I had to go read more, and best I can tell, this whole initiative is basically just American Family providing advice, encouragement and one big cyber "atta boy" to people with hopes and dreams. So, thanks…I guess…
Well, I will say that American Family also gave us a video with J.J. Watt, and for those of us responsible for getting all of you to click on these stories, that's the greatest gift of all.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast.