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The Definitive J.J. Watt 2021 Rooting Guide

J.J. Watt will be in a different uniform next season, but which one will make us happiest?
J.J. Watt will be in a different uniform next season, but which one will make us happiest?
Photo by Eric Sauseda
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Where will J.J. Watt play football next season? Man, it hurts just to type that sentence. For as many weird things that have happened with the Texans since the middle of 2019, when Jack Easterby entered the picture and Bill O'Brien became general manager of the team, nothing will feel weirder than a preseason, come July, where J.J. Watt is not here.

It was a hell of a decade, full of a lot of joy, a lot of sacks, a lot of tormented quarterbacks, and unfortunately, a lot of unfulfilled promise on a team level. That last part has nothing to do with Watt. Nobody gave more, sacrificed more, than number 99. When he put out his farewell video on Twitter on Friday, the team got worse. The city got worse.

Some city is about to live out the rest of Houston's dream. For what it's worth, the oddsmakers say the probabilities look like this:

Green Bay Packers 3/2
Pittsburgh Steelers 2/1
Dallas Cowboys 4/1
Los Angeles Rams 5/1
Las Vegas Raiders 8/1
Chicago Bears 10/1
Denver Broncos 10/1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12/1
Baltimore Ravens 12/1
Cleveland Browns 12/1
Buffalo Bills 12/1
New England Patriots 15/1
Miami Dolphins 15/1
Minnesota Vikings 15/1
Los Angeles Chargers 20/1
San Francisco 49ers 20/1
New York Giants 20/1
Tennessee Titans 20/1
Kansas City Chiefs 25/1

I know a lot of you out there will be rooting for Watt unconditionally to win a Super Bowl at his next stop, and I think that's awesome. He deserves that love. That said, there will be a few potential destinations on that list that for ME, I just can't reconcile their fan base (or players or coaches or whatever makes me dislike them) hoisting a trophy, even if it means the ultimate prize for Watt.

So, without further ado, here is my guide to rooting for J.J. Watt in 2021

WILL HAPPILY, PASSIONATELY ROOT FOR J.J. WATT
Green Bay Packers 3/2
Pittsburgh Steelers 2/1
Baltimore Ravens 12/1
Buffalo Bills 12/1
The Packers and Steelers are ready made, central casting type storylines. In Green Bay, Watt would be playing for his boyhood team, two hours from where he grew up. That's really cool. With the Steelers, he'd be chasing a ring with his two brothers. Again, really cool. The Ravens are on this list for me, because I am also a fan of Anthony Weaver, former Texans DC and Watt's position coach, and would-be position coach in Baltimore. Buffalo I have on here, because, well, who doesn't want to root for a fan base that routinely power bombs their fellow fans through flaming card tables at tailgate parties? That's bad ass!

WILL ROOT FOR J.J. WATT, BUT WON'T LOSE ANY SLEEP OVER IT
Los Angeles Rams 5/1
Minnesota Vikings 15/1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12/1
Los Angeles Chargers 20/1
These are the teams where I'll root for Watt, but that's really about it. There's no secondary reason to get white hot passionate about it. If anything, I'd probably be rooting AGAINST these teams without Watt. Tampa Bay just 'express lane drove" their way to a Super Bowl by signing Tom Brady. Minnesota is a miserable place ten months out of the year. Finally, the two LA teams? Meh. Los Angeles has won enough in the last year with the Lakers and Dodgers. But if Watt wins at these places, then okay. Whatever.

NEED TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS WITH DESHAUN WATSON
Las Vegas Raiders 8/1
Chicago Bears 10/1
Denver Broncos 10/1
San Francisco 49ers 20/1
These four teams would all seem to be in the mix for a QB upgrade, as well, and could all be places that Deshaun Watson would approve a trade to. I will be able to root for Watt at any of these places, however, if Watson is the quarterback, that changes things. It's not personal with Watson, I love him. It's just that it will be way too hard to see Watson, as a young franchise QB, win a Super Bowl somewhere else. Watt is an aging player, whose leaving is logical and happens around football all the time. A player like Watson being traded never happens.

WILL NEVER ROOT FOR THESE TEAMS, EVEN WITH J.J. WATT
Dallas Cowboys 4/1
Cleveland Browns 12/1
New England Patriots 15/1
New York Giants 20/1
Tennessee Titans 20/1
Kansas City Chiefs 25/1
Indianapolis Colts N/A
Man, this list is longer than I thought it would be. I have a dark heart. Sorry, J.J. I'll rapid fire my reasons. Dallas is Dallas. Does anyone outside of Cowboy fans EVER root for them? Cleveland getting J.J. Watt and winning a Super Bowl will hurt even more, considering the Texans are about to become the New Age Browns. The Patriots and a SEVENTH Super Bowl? No thanks. As for the Giants, I don't need New York fans happy. The Titans stole our football team, they will not steal J.J. Watt! My feelings on the Chiefs and how they thought winning one Super Bowl entitled them to five are well known here. The Colts aren't on the odds board, but I do want to get on the record — I will never root for the Colts.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.

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