Sean Pendergast

J.J. Watt Tweets Letter to Get Fan Excused From Work

Of all the athlete-driven charity events in town, one of the most successful and certainly the most fun is J.J. Watt's charity softball game at Constellation Field in Sugar Land. In the two years that the event has existed, Watt has raised more than $700,000 for his foundation, which is focused on raising money for after-school activities for kids throughout Texas and his native Wisconsin.

The event pits offense against defense, first in a home run derby (which typically exposes guys who haven't spent much time swinging a bat) and then in an actual game. There are memorabilia auctions in the concourse, and did I mention that they sell beer?

All in all, it's a quality event, and the next edition occurs this coming Friday evening, which is a really good excuse to leave work early. And here's the good news -- apparently, if you ask nicely, J.J. will write a note to your boss seeking an excused absence!

Meet Ashlee Sanchez. She is a rabid, avid J.J. Watt fan from (according to her Twitter bio) Brownsville, Texas, and she was one of the lucky few to secure tickets to Watt's softball game before they sold out a couple of months ago. (Oh, that's the other thing. The softball game is wildly popular and sells out in a matter of minutes, but not after crashing the servers of the ticket site.)

For Sanchez. there's only one problem -- she has to go to work...

You see, Brownsville is quite a ways from Houston, and thus isn't merely a "sneak out an hour early" situation for Sanchez. She would need to take off pretty much the entire day in order to attend the game...

Thankfully, J.J. Watt is on the case! Seeing a follower in distress, he did what any self-respecting superhero would do. He hastily scribbled a note to the woman's boss on his personal stationery and hoped for the best...

Okay, that's pretty damn cool. And kind of funny. What's even funnier is that apparently Sanchez's job that she is trying to circumvent on Friday is a new job, and Friday is her first day...

Ashlee, I don't want to tell you what to do or frighten you in any way, but before getting into radio, I used to be in a management position where I hired people. I'm fairly certain that if a person came to me on his or her first day on the job and showed me an "excused" letter (even from someone as cool as J.J. Watt) to try to get out of work, I would minimally begin looking for that person's replacement, and might fire him or her on the spot. Maybe it's me.

Also, J.J., you need to know that you just hooked up a damn Spurs fan!

You need to vet these things more thoroughly, number 99.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at

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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast