Yao Meets J.J.: Who Could Block More Passes?
Photo by @JJWatt
Houston Texans superstar J.J. Watt posted this picture to his Twitter account awhile ago.
He added: "Great lunch with @YaoMing today. Have a feeling he could knock down a pass or two..." (It should be noted that @YaoMing -- "I am the real Yao Ming," it says on the account -- didn't bother to post the picture. Then again, it hasn't posted anything since October.)
It's nice, of course, for Watt to butter up a Houston semi-legend.
But the question has been begged: Who would be the better pass blocker, Watt or Yao?
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Watt, of course, got famous this year for blocking 16 passes, earning him the inevitable nickname "JJ Swatt."
Yao was a defensive stalwart throughout his somewhat brief NBA career.
So who would do better a) in the NFL and b) in the NBA?
THE NFL Watt: Proof is in the pudding. From the stunning block/interception in the 2011 playoffs to the jaw-dropping 16 blocks this year, it's obvious defenses have yet to figure out how to contain him. Probably the best way is to distract him through some social-media or charity event in town -- he'll apparently drop everything to participate (It's why the city loves him.)
Yao: Would get season-ending injury 45 seconds into first game. And not just because it's the big, bad NFL. That's just the way he rolls, on the field or on the court.
THE NBA Watt: It's tough to block a shot when you're still getting into position 15 seconds after everyone else has gotten downcourt and set up. Should Watt somehow find himself playing the plodding, uglyball mid-'90s Knicks, we're guessing he'd struggle when he discovered he couldn't use his swim move or carefully aimed forearm to the head. And to be honest, we're not really sure you could slip a Sunday New York Times under his feet when he jumps.
Yao: Almost 1.000 blocks in eight seasons. And remember, those are mostly seasons Yao-style, meaning a season-ending injury after the first month or so.
VERDICT: God put each where he belongs. No need to change things.